Trump's Chilling Press Conference

This afternoon, Donald Trump appeared at a podium in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower and unleashed his fury that leftists weren't being accountable for their violence in Charlottesville. It was Trump fully being Trump, and it was deeply chilling.

TRUMP: But when you say "the alt-right"— Define alt-right to me. [points at reporter] You define it. Go ahead.


TRUMP: No, define it for me! Come on, let's go. Define it for me. [the reporter tries to speak] Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging in? [holds up his hand to silence her] Excuse me. What about the alt-left that came charged at, as you say, the alt-right? [angrily] Do they have any semblance of guilt?

[reporters try to ask questions; Trump holds up his hand to silence them]

TRUMP: What about— Let me ask you this: What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs— [mimes swinging a club] Do they have any problem? I think they do. [reporters try to speak; he holds up his hand] So, you know, as far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day— [a male reporter says something, and Trump points at him and lowers his voice] Wait a minute. I'm not finished. [the reporter keeps talking] I'm not finished, Fake News. That was a horrible day—

[reporters again try to ask questions and Trump tightens his mouth and grips the podium, looking enraged]

TRUMP: I will tell you something: I watched those very closely — much more closely than you people watched it — and 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. [reporters try to speak, but Trump speaks over them more loudly] 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.
MALE REPORTER, OFF-SCREEN: —on both sides, sir? You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides? [crosstalk]

TRUMP: Well, I do think there's blame, yes. I think there's 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 tries to speak, but Trump holds up his hand] And, AND, and if you reported it accurately, you would say.

[crosstalk as reporters ask questions; someone asks about Heather Heyer losing her life]

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. [crosstalk] And you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people. On both sides! You had people in that group— [reporter tries to speak; Trump holds up his hand] Excuse me. Excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

[crosstalk as reporters ask questions]

TRUMP: You know, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we gonna take down— [reporter tries to respond; Trump holds up his hand] Excuse me. Are we gonna take down— Are we gonna take down statues to George Washington? [reporter tries to respond; Trump plows on] How about Thomas Jefferson? Whaddaya think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? [reporter tries to respond; Trump plows on] Okay, good. Are we gonna take down the statue? 'Cause he was a major slave owner! Now are we gonna take down his statue?

[reporters tries to respond; crosstalk as other reporters try to ask questions; Trump holds up his hand]

TRUMP: So you know what? It's fine. You're changing history; you're changing culture; and you had people — and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally — but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats— [shakes his head disgustedly] You got a lotta bad people in the other group.

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