This afternoon President Trump conducted an impromptu press conference at Trump Tower. Asked about Charlottesville, Trump said there was blame on both sides. The press went ballistic:
A combative President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday “there is blame on both sides” for the deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, appearing to once again equate the actions of white supremacist groups and those protesting them.
In the AP’s telling, the antifas were just “protesting” the white supremacists. No mention of fighting, no reference to baseball bats.
The president’s comments effectively wiped away the more conventional statement he delivered at the White House one day earlier when he branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as “criminals and thugs.”
Why? There is no inconsistency between neo-Nazis being criminals and thugs and antifas sharing the blame for the violence in Charlottesville. They are criminals and thugs, too.
The president’s retorts Tuesday suggested he had been a reluctant participant in that cleanup effort. During an impromptu press conference in the lobby of his Manhattan skyscraper, he praised his original response to Charlottesville and angrily blamed liberal groups in addition to white supremacists for the violence. Some of those protesting the rally to save a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee were “also very violent,” he said.
“There are two sides to a story,” he said. He added that some facts about the violence still aren’t known.
The AP wants us to believe that Trump’s statements were a disaster. His aides “stood in silence,” John Kelly “crossed his arms and stared down at his shoes,” Sarah Sanders “looked around the room trying to make eye contact with other senior aides.” And “[o]ne young staffer stood with her mouth agape.”
The AP never questions, however, that what Trump said was true. In fact, it was indisputable. The antifas, a fascist group that has also rioted at Washington, Berkeley, Seattle and other places, typically wears black clothes and masks, arms its members with baseball bats, ax handles and 2x4s, and often attacks random people on the street. Its behavior in Charlottesville was not much better than usual. New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg tweeted, “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”
Anyone who has watched videos of the Charlottesville riot knows that Trump’s description is accurate. In this video, you can see antifa fascists initiating violence against both white supremacists and the police:
#ThisIsNotUs. It's Antifa and the Klan, fighting it out because they're violent thugs.
One is mentioned in the media, the other ignored. pic.twitter.com/Zcty0CG7Gd
— Rep. Steven Smith (@RepStevenSmith) August 13, 2017
Who, exactly, brings bats and clubs to a demonstration?
Here again, you see the so-called counter-demonstrators initiate the violence:
This longer video shows a confrontation that seems to have been initiated by the white supremacists. Toward the end, multiple black-clad and helmeted antifas assault an old man:
Why does the press go crazy over a statement by President Trump that is patently true? “[T]here is blame on both sides.” Because left-wing violence is becoming a prominent feature of our political scene, and the Democratic Party press wants to cover it up. Murderers inspired by Black Lives Matter have attempted to kill, and in several instances have actually killed, policemen. Antifa fascists, doing their best Nazi brownshirt imitation, have rioted in cities around the country, smashing windows and attacking passers-by. And, of course, Democratic Party activist and Bernie Sanders campaign worker James Hodgkinson attempted to assassinate Congressional Republicans, grievously wounding the House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise.
This violence is unhelpful to the left-wing cause, so reporters and editors suppress references to it. They were delighted to have an opportunity to report, for a change, on right-wing violence perpetrated by James Fields. And they don’t want truth, or any sort of nuance, to get in the way.
This is, I think, a winning issue for President Trump and his allies. Any time the Democrats scream, “You can’t say that!” the best policy is to go on saying it.
UPDATE: Additional quotes from yesterday’s mini-presser, not referenced by the AP:
“Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging, with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.
“Is it the same level as neo-Nazis?” a reporter asked.
“I will tell you something,” Trump said.
“I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it, and you have – 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.”
Trump is right on the money. Liberals hate it when he tells the truth!
FURTHER UPDATE: Most recently, anti-Trumpers have seized on his statement during the informal press conference that there were “fine people on both sides,” i.e., not all of them were evil even though “both groups were bad.” No doubt this statement is true. Trump made it very clear that on the right, the “fine people” were the ones who were only protesting against removal of the statue of General Lee. He once again denounced white supremacists, etc., strongly. While this wasn’t as crystal clear, I thought it was obvious that the “fine people” on the left were those who merely demonstrated against the white supremacists, but didn’t attack them with clubs and bats. The president’s acknowledgement that not everyone who went to Charlottesville is evil in no way detracts from the truth or the importance of his point: the leftist antifa bears responsibility for the violence, too. [This update was edited after I had time to watch the entire video of Trump’s press conference.]