Critics Condemn President for Calling Out Both Sides in Charlottesville

Donald Trump

A senior White House adviser told NBC News that Mr Trump's team "was stunned" as he went off script during a heated exchange with reporters.

QUESTION: Mr. President, are you putting what you're calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?

Grijalva and Pocan called Trump out for his "appalling and shameful reluctance to name the groups involved in the attacks" until days after the murder of Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer-declaring, "Mr. President, it shouldn't take you two days to build up the courage to condemn violent neo-Nazis and the KKK".

The president spoke of "very fine people" on both sides and said that both sides were to blame. Though the policy influence of such advisory groups is sometimes questionable, simply meeting with Trump with TV cameras going is valuable face-time for the executives - and for the president.

In his now defunct neo-Nazi blog, the Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin praised Trump's reaction with the anti-Semitic headline: "Trump Finally Gives Half-Assed Charlottesville Statement to Whining Jew Media".

Speaking about this weekend's clashes between the white nationalists and those opposing them, Trump said the hate groups were defending themselves. Mr Trump promised then that he would seek out the advice of business leaders in the pursuit of a stronger economy that creates jobs and boosts America's wealth.

While his press conference was insane enough, the "evening communications briefing" is even worse. Johnson called the comments a distraction from Trump's broader agenda, including tax reform, and that he wishes the president would focus more on unifying the country. He tweeted before they could announce the decision they'd reached - making it appear it was his choice. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi.

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The second consists of those who (though usually acknowledging him to be a man of flawed character) can't admit that Trump has done or said anything stupid or culpable without also pointing out that others have done the same or worse.

He said he had yet to call the mother of the woman killed when a vehicle ploughed into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters but said that he would soon "reach out".

"I think there's - it's nearly like a counterintuitive thing with him, as it relates to the media", former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told Stephen Colbert on Monday's "Late Show".

In pursuing wishlist items like ObamaCare repeal and tax reform and infrastructure spending, Trump most needs the support of moderates on the Senate side. In fact, some of Trump's aides reportedly try to get on cable news just to communicate to Trump. Yet it might be even more courageous to stay, knowing your exit leaves the president ever more in the clutches of the axis of evil represented by those apostles of white nationalism, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller.

Before that announcement was made, the councils were haemorrhaging CEOs. Luther Strange for advancing to a runoff in the Alabama special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions' seat.

Trump, who has denounced racism and singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as "criminals and thugs", has also hit out at what he called the "alt-left" over the weekend violence.

Stivers' comments were noteworthy considering he leads House Republicans' campaign arm.

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