President Trump on Tuesday night fiercely defended his response to violence in Charlottesville, Va., at his first public rally since his remarks ignited a national debate about whether he had emboldened racists.
Diring the 76-minute long campaign rally in Phoenix, Trump attacked the news media, Democrats and the Senate Republicans. The president mocked the protesters outside the building and the “anti-fascist” protesters that clashed with the white supremacists in Charlottesville, where three people died on 12 August. “All week [the media] are talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside. Where are they?” Ah, Trump and crowd sizes… Nearly 20,000 people packed into the arena to hear the president speak.
Trump opened with a scripted statement calling for unity, but quickly veered off script to spend the bulk of the rally unloading on the news media for its “false” coverage of his response to Charlottesville, which sparked chants of “CNN sucks!” from his supporters. Trump read through almost the entirety of his initial response, arguing that it was adequate. “These were my exact words — ‘I love all the people of our country. We are going to make America great again. But we are going to make it a great for all of the people of the United States of America,’ ” Trump said. “And then they say, ‘Is he a racist?’ You know where my heart is,” Trump continued. “I’m really doing this to show you how damned dishonest these people are.” Trump did not mention that he had also blamed “both sides” and “many sides” on two occasions, which is what provoked fury from his critics.
“For the most part honestly, these are really, really dishonest people, they’re bad people,” Trump added. “I really think they don’t like our country, I really believe that.” We know that he really means it. That is the problem.
Trump also accused news outlets of “turning the cameras off” at the rally and cutting off coverage of the event. However, no major news outlets appeared to actually stop their livestreams or video coverage of Trump’s speech.
Trump threatened to shut down the government if his proposed border wall with Mexico doesn’t get funding from Congress. “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” he said.
Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, said Tuesday that, despite President Trump’s remarks denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis, the president has yet to condemn the alt-right.
Trump has never denounced the Alt-Right. Nor will he.#ArizonaTrumpRally
— Richard ☝Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) August 23, 2017
An internet prankster posing as Stephen Bannon baited Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow into saying he would assist Bannon with his “dirty work” and help push Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner out of the White House, according to the emails provided to CNN by the anonymous web troll, known as @SINON_REBORN on Twitter. Bannon, who was recently ousted as chief White House strategist, promptly returned to his previous position as executive chairman at Breitbart News. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner frequently clashed with Bannon over internal policy discussions during his time in the administration, and his move sparked speculation over how the site, which has backed President Trump in his campaign and presidency, will now cover the administration.
The fake account — designed to look like it was Bannon’s — reportedly first messaged Marlow on Sunday in an apparent attempt to fool him into talking about Trump and Kushner.
“So do you think you’ll have them packed and shipping out before Christmas?”
“Let me see what I can do … hard to know given your description of them as evil,” Marlow responded. “I don’t know what motivates them. If they are semi normal, then yes, they out by end of year.” Semi normal…
Marlow defended Breitbart to CNN, saying, “If people want to know our thinking, they don’t need to judge us on illicitly obtained comments that were intended to be private, they can simply read our front page.” No, thanks!