RE­VEALED: TRUMP SUP­PORTS RACISTS

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - As­so­ci­ated Press

NEW YORK - The sched­ule for Don­ald Trump's first full day back in New York since the start of his pres­i­dency en­tailed walk­ing into the Trump Tower lobby, talk­ing about in­fra­struc­ture for a few min­utes, and im­me­di­ately re­board­ing his golden el­e­va­tor with­out tak­ing any ques­tions. Much to chief of staff John Kelly's ap­par­ent cha­grin, that did not hap­pen.

In­stead,Trump opted to take a few ques­tions af­ter his pre­pared re­marks. The as­sem­bled re­porters nat­u­rally had more ques­tions about last week­end's white na­tion­al­ist rally in Char­lottesville than they did about in­fra­struc­ture bu­reau­cracy. The re­sult? A del­uge of re­marks sug­gest­ing that both sides - neo-Nazis and those who protested their as­sem­bly - shared the blame for Satur­day's vi­o­lence equally. Trump as­serted that he did not ini­tially de­nounce white su­prem­a­cists by name un­til Mon­day be­cause he didn't have all avail­able facts un­til then, and pon­dered if pulling down a statue of Con­fed­er­ate gen­eral Robert E. Lee would lead to the tar­get­ing of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton and Thomas Jef­fer­son next.

Cre­at­ing an equiv­a­lence be­tween a group with swastikas, lit torches, and semi­au­to­matic weapons struck many ob­servers as patently ab­surd, es­pe­cially given that one of those al­leged white su­prem­a­cists was charged with plow­ing into a crowd of pro­test­ers with his car, killing one and in­jur­ing 19 oth­ers.

But a closer ex­am­i­na­tion of Trump's talk­ing points shows that nearly ev­ery one has a di­rect link back to ei­ther some­one the pres­i­dent fol­lows on Twit­ter or a Fox News seg­ment that aired af­ter Satur­day.

Trump no­to­ri­ously picks up procla­ma­tions from ei­ther Twit­ter or his ca­ble news habit, in which Fox News plays a sig­nif­i­cant role. That Trump's di­vi­sive com­ments Tues­day ap­pear to stem from sources with a na­tional au­di­ence sug­gests that they shouldn’t have come as a com­plete sur­prise - and that the white su­prem­a­cists march­ing through Vir­ginia this past week­end have far more apol­o­gists than one might have as­sumed.

To help you get a glimpse of how Trump's Nazi-friendly state­ments formed, here are his more salient points, traced to the likely source. On wait­ing for all the facts.

Don­ald Trump said:“The state­ment I made on Satur­day, the first state­ment, was a fine state­ment, but you don't make state­ments that di­rect un­less you know the facts. And it takes a lit­tle while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts. And it is a very, very im­por­tant process to me. It is a very im­por­tant state­ment. So I don't want to go quickly and just make a state­ment for the sake of mak­ing a po­lit­i­cal state­ment. I want to know the facts.” Trump's Twit­ter time­line said:

“It has be­come ‘shoot first..then in­ves­ti­gate’ – rather than,‘what are the facts? Can we fig­ure out a so­lu­tion?” —Greta Van Sus­teren, Aug. 13, 8:28 a.m.

“Bot­tom line: need a com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tion into all the facts and cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing it” —Greta Van Susteran, Aug. 13, 12:25 p.m.

Fox News said: Mon­day, on Fox News show The Five, co­host Jesse Wat­ters let the pres­i­dent off the hook for his tepid first re­sponse: “I’m not in the Pres­i­dent’s head, thank God. Per­haps the Pres­i­dent was think­ing, you know what? We don’t have all the facts like Dana said. Let’s just take a big pic­ture ap­proach. Be­cause both sides are rum­bling. I don’t know who the driver was be­fore I make a state­ment. And I don’t think he was go­ing to let the left wing vi­o­lence off the hook. So, who knows what is go­ing to hap­pen.”

On whether Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton will be the next tear-down tar­get.

Don­ald Trump said:“Many of those peo­ple were there to protest the tak­ing down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it’s Robert E. Lee, I no­ticed that Stonewall Jack­son’s com­ing down. I won­der, is it Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton next week? And is it Thomas Jef­fer­son the week af­ter.You know, you re­ally do have to ask your­self, where does it stop?”

Fox News said: As Buz­zFeed pointed out, Fox's Martha MacCal­lum spent Mon­day evening dis­cussing this very sub­ject with Trump con­fi­dant Newt Gin­grich:

NEWT GIN­GRICH:Where are you go­ing to stop it? What if you weren't sen­si­tive enough to the Holo­caust, we should take down all the stat­ues of Franklin De­lano Roo­sevelt? You could make an ar­gu­ment for that. MARTHA MACCAL­LUM:You could make an ar­gu­ment for Thomas Jef­fer­son or Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton. Are you go­ing to change the name of the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment? On vi­o­lence from the left.

Don­ald Trump said: “But you had many peo­ple in that group other than neo-Nazis and white na­tion­al­ists, OK? And the press has treated them ab­so­lutely un­fairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine peo­ple, but you also had trou­ble­mak­ers and you see them come with the black out­fits and with the hel­mets and with the base­ball bats - you had a lot of bad peo­ple in the other group too.” Trump's Twit­ter time­line said:

“Me­dia so pow­er­ful that nei­ther Dem nor GOP will con­demn left-wing vi­o­lence from An­tifa, who are im­mune from ar­rest or criti- cism.” —Ann Coul­ter, Aug. 14, 12:47 p.m. “Fear of ‘vi­o­lent left’ pre­ceded events in Char­lottesville... http://wapo.st/2wHkoLJ” — Drudge Re­port, Aug. 13, 7 p.m.

Fox News said: Yes­ter­day evening, Fox News cor­re­spon­dent Doug McKel­way as­signed equal blame to both sides, also cit­ing base­ball bats and hel­mets:“We saw peo­ple com­ing out of the park who had head wounds, who were bleed­ing from the head. We saw peo­ple walk­ing into that park with bats, with sticks. You saw what they were wear­ing, hel­mets, body ar­mor. They had come - and this per­tains to both sides -they had come to do dam­age.” On the 'good' white su­prem­a­cists.

Don­ald Trump said: “And I’m not talk­ing about the neo-Nazis and the white na­tion­al­ists, be­cause they should be con­demned to­tally - but you had many peo­ple in that group other than neo-Nazis and white na­tion­al­ists, OK?”

Fox News said: On Sun­day, Fox News per­son­al­ity Pete Hegseth cel­e­brated Pres­i­dent Trump's ini­tial, vague con­dem­na­tion, and of­fered sup­port for white peo­ple who feel dis­en­fran­chised:“There’s a rea­son those peo­ple were out there. Some of it is outright racism and needs to be con­demned. A lot of it, though, is, ‘I feel like my coun­try is slip­ping away and just be­cause I talk about na­tion­al­ism — not white na­tion­al­ism — doesn’t mean I’m talk­ing in code that I’m a racist.’”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF SALEMINTERACTIVEMEDIA.COM

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump gets ready to speak to the me­dia in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tues­day, Au­gust 15, 2017 in New York.

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