Trump re­news ‘bad dudes’ talk

Yuma Sun - - OPIN­ION -

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Thurs­day re­vived his as­ser­tions that he thought there were “bad dudes” among the peo­ple who as­sem­bled to op­pose a white na­tion­al­ist protest in Charlottesville, Vir­ginia, last month.

Trump lat­est com­ments came one day af­ter he met in pri­vate with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Se­nate’s lone black Repub­li­can, at the White House. The two dis­cussed the pres­i­dent’s past re­marks blam­ing “many sides” for the vi­o­lence and death around a Con­fed­er­ate statue.

Re­count­ing his con­ver­sa­tion with Scott, Trump told re­porters aboard Air Force One on Thurs­day: “I think es­pe­cially in light of the ad­vent of an­tifa, if you look at what’s go­ing on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also. And es­sen­tially that’s what I said.”

“An­tifa” is short for “anti-fas­cist,” an um­brella de­scrip­tion for far-left­lean­ing mil­i­tant groups.

Trump added that more and more peo­ple are start­ing to agree with him.

“A lot of peo­ple are say­ing — in fact a lot of peo­ple have ac­tu­ally writ­ten, ‘Gee Trump might have a point,’” Trump said. “I said, ‘You got some very bad peo­ple on the other side also,’ which is true.”

Trump last month said there were “very fine peo­ple” among the na­tion­al­ists and neo-Nazis protest­ing the pos­si­ble re­moval of a Con­fed­er­ate statue in Charlottesville.

Scott said he told the pres­i­dent that there was no com­par­i­son.

“We had three or four cen­turies of rape, mur­der and death brought at the hands of the (Ku Klux Klan) and those who be­lieve in a su­pe­rior race,” he told re­porters at the Capi­tol. “I wanted to make sure we were clear on the de­lin­eation be­tween who’s on which side in the his­tory of the na­tion.”

Scott bluntly crit­i­cized Trump for as­sign­ing blame in a way that put white su­prem­a­cist pro­test­ers on equal foot­ing with coun­ter­demon­stra­tors who turned out for the Aug. 12 protests, sparked by Charlottesville of­fi­cials’ de­ci­sion to re­move a statue of Con­fed­er­ate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

That re­mark, Scott said, com­pro­mised Trump’s moral au­thor­ity as pres­i­dent.

On Wednes­day, Trump told Scott that he just meant to con­vey “that there was an an­tag­o­nist on the other side” — to which Scott replied, “The real pic­ture has noth­ing to do with who is on the other side.”

Scott con­tin­ued: “I shared my thoughts of the last three cen­turies of chal­lenges from white su­prem­a­cists, white na­tion­al­ists, KKK, neo-Nazis, so there is no way to find an equi­lib­rium when you have three cen­turies of his­tory.”

The pres­i­dent said that he got the point, Scott said. Asked if the pres­i­dent can re­gain his moral au­thor­ity, Scott re­sponded, “That will take time.”

White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said Trump and Scott had an “in-depth” dis­cus­sion about the Charlottesville com­ments, “but the fo­cus was pri­mar­ily on so­lu­tions mov­ing for­ward.”

“That was what both peo­ple came to the meet­ing want­ing to dis­cuss,” San­ders said dur­ing a White House brief­ing. “What we can do to bring peo­ple to­gether, not talk about di­vi­sions within the coun­try.”

Scott said Trump also brought up Seat­tle Seahawks de­fen­sive end Michael Ben­nett, who has ac­cused Las Ve­gas po­lice of us­ing racially mo­ti­vated ex­ces­sive force against him.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.