23 Minutes of Trump

 

Does anyone remember why President Trump held a press conference on Tuesday?

I almost 100% agree with this editorial by James Freeman. Trump really needs to shut up and just work on stuff that helps people. He has these moments of brilliance but then for every moment of brilliance, he tends to surround it with about 100 moments of pure incompetence.

For the assembled members of President Trump’s economic team who stood behind him at Trump Tower on Tuesday, the first six minutes of his press conference must have seemed like a promising start. Here was the President describing a significant government-created problem and offering the beginning of a sensible solution.


In any case, Tuesday’s press conference became even more interesting over the next 17 minutes. That’s when Mr. Trump took questions from reporters and decided to largely abandon his hopeful message on liberating Americans from red tape. Many of his assembled advisors were suddenly fascinated by various spots on the floor of the Trump Tower lobby as the President offered further analysis of last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

As he had on Monday, the President condemned the white supremacists who organized a rally tied to the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Mr. Trump also condemned the man who allegedly drove his car into the crowd of counter-protesters as a “murderer.” Mr. Trump then annoyed the media by correctly pointing out that there were violent people on both sides.

But Mr. Trump also said that there were “very fine people on both sides.” Certainly there were very fine people on the side that was protesting the white supremacists, but this column has seen no evidence of very fine people on the other side. Some people who oppose statue removal do so for reasons of historical or artistic preservation. But would any of them have decided to make common cause with neo-Nazis and join in last week’s demonstration? It’s possible that some people showed up to oppose the removal of landmarks without realizing they had joined a parade of bigots. But if that were the case, they would likely have left immediately.

A source with knowledge of the Monument Fund, Inc., one of the plaintiffs which obtained a temporary injunction against removing monuments in Charlottesville, tells this column:

Nobody from our group attended the protests or counter-protests. We all stayed away. As everybody should have done. As President Sullivan of U Va urged people to do. Just stay home. But City Councillors and a coalition of leftist groups invited their followers to show up for counter protests. And show up they did, angry and spoiling for a fight.

If City Council had just said: let the Nazis shout idiot slogans at empty air, ignore them, stay home — no violence would have happened. The police are unfairly criticized for not stopping the fighting. How could they? These two groups wanted to fight. They found ways to get at each other. These are public streets, they could not all be locked down and cleared of belligerents.

This was a tragic event, it will scar the city. It will take a long time for the anger to subside.

Mr. Trump appears to have been peddling fake news here, and he’ll no doubt have the chance to amend his remarks yet again because it seems unlikely he can resist further comment and the issue is not going away.

Source: 23 Minutes of Trump

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