A set of talking points the White House offered as a guide for President Donald Trump’s supporters had a singular message on the fallout from a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville: “The president was entirely correct.”
The memo echoed Trump’s previous remarks on the rally — comments he made at a heated press conference on Tuesday and his statements in the days since the Saturday rally that erupted in northern Virginia.
Here’s a sampling of the talking points the White House offered:
- “The President was entirely correct — both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility.”
- “… the President reaffirmed some of our most important Founding principles: We are equal in the eyes of our Creator, equal under the law, and equal under the Constitution.'”
- “He has been a voice for unity and calm, encouraging the country to ‘rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that brings us together as Americans.'”
- “The President condemned — with no ambiguity — the hate groups fuelled by bigotry and racism over the weekend …”
- “Even a New York Times reporter tweeted that she saw club-wielding antifa beating ‘white nationalists’ being led out of the park.”
- “The President is taking swift action to hold violent hate groups accountable.”
While the talking points leaned heavily on praise for Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville fallout and criticism of the media, observers noted that the memo did not include further rebukes of white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis who organised and led the rally that left a 32-year-old woman and two policemen dead.
Trump is hearing it from all sides for his repeated equivocations about who is responsible for the violence that unfolded in Charlottesville. Though he specifically called out hate groups by name on Monday, he appeared to revert back to his original claim on Tuesday that “many sides” were to blame.
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