When Trump condoned hate
A protest by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday turned tragic after a man rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one.US President Donald Trump initially blamed both sides for the violence. On Monday, after criticism, he finally condemned racism and bigotry. Yesterday, he again blamed both sides in a press meet. Here is an excerpt of his Q&A:
REPORTER: Mr President, are you putting what you're calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?
TRUMP: I am not putting anybody on a moral plane, what I'm saying is this: You had a group on one side and a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs, and it was vicious and horrible, and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You've just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that's the way it is.
REPORTER: You said there was hatred and violence on both sides?
TRUMP: I do think there is blame - yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either.
REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.
TRUMP: I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you had, you had a group on one side that was bad. And you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now. You had a group - you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.
I do think there is blame — yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.An angry US President Donald Trump refusing to condemn the alt-right following events in Charlottesville, where an alleged neo-Nazi supporter rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman, Ms Heather Heyer, and injuring scores of others.
Obama's tweet on love breaks Twitter record
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion... People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love... For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.Former US president Barack Obama in a series of tweets quoting former South African president Nelson Mandela. The first tweet, which shows a picture of Mr Obama smiling at four children, has been retweeted more than one million times and liked 2.6 million times as of Tuesday afternoon, a new Twitter record.
Timeline of bigotry and violence
FRIDAY, AUG 11 (US TIME)
- A federal judge rules that white supremacists can hold a protest on Saturday at Emancipation Park
- Some white nationalists carrying torches march through the University of Virginia's campus in Charlottesville
SATURDAY, AUG 12
- White nationalists and counter-protesters arrive at the park
- Just before noon, violence breaks out
- Around 1 pm, President Donald Trump tweets a condemnation of the violence. A man rams his car into a group of counter-protesters (above), killing one 32-year-old woman and injuring at least 19 others, half an hour later
- Around 3pm, Mr Trump condemns the violence saying he blames "many sides"
- At about 6pm, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe condemns the white supremacists and tells them to leave
MONDAY, AUG 14
- Mr Trump makes a stronger statement against the violence, this time from the White House. "Racism is evil," he says
TUESDAY, AUG 15
- Mr Trump sparks another political firestorm when he doubles down on his initial response to the violent white supremacist rally saying there was "blame on both sides"
Sources: WJLA Washington, AFP
Reactions and rejections
WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump's extraordinary 23-minute news conference at Trump Tower elicited a near-universal rejection from across the political and cultural spectrums. His comments shocked even normally unflappable American newscasters. One bright note for Mr Trump: He impressed a right-wing news site.
"We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity." - Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan
"No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honour, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act." - General Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant
"Charlottesville violence was fuelled by one side: White supremacists spreading racism, intolerance and intimidation. Those are the facts." - Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, who was Mrs Hillary Clinton's presidential running mate
"Racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, it is not okay. You can't support it in any form or fashion. The outrage across the political spectrum about this is maybe the thing that ultimately unites us." - Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd to CNN
"You are embarrassing our country and the millions of Americans who fought and died to defeat Nazism." - Senator Bernie Sanders
"There is only one side. White supremacy is always wrong." - The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors American hate groups
"(Without) a prepared statement, this Pres says what he really believes: Equating neo-Nazis to those protecting civil rights is disgraceful & crazy." - Showbiz legend Barbra Streisand
"Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that, but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again!" - Basketball superstar LeBron James
"One of the most transparent lies Trump told today is that he likes to wait for the facts before he makes a statement." - Singer John Legend
"I'm still in the phase where I'm wondering if it was actually real life. I have too much eye makeup on to start crying right now." - Fox News host Kat Timpf, who was unable to hide her disgust. The network is a staunch Trump supporter
"They were chanting things like, 'Jews will not replace us'. There's nothing good about that." - Co-host Guy Benson on The Fox News Specialists
"To anybody who thinks, 'I thought that the Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, I thought there was no debate about this thing among civilised people,' there isn't a debate about it." -CNN anchor Jake Tapper
"POTUS (President of the US) Comes Roaring Back With Press Smackdown at Trump Tower." -Right-wing site Breitbart News