Trump Swiftly Condemns Barcelona Terror Attack. Charlottesville? Not So Much.

He then promoted a fake story about mass murdering Muslims.

Matt Cardy/ZUMA

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With pertinent details still unfolding, President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to condemn a terrorist attack in Barcelona, where a white van plowed through the popular tourist street of Las Ramblas, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 50 people. 

The president’s response to the Barcelona attack was far swifter than his delayed response to the white supremacist clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday and his initial failure to flatly denounce white nationalists. Instead, Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence.

Amid intense criticism over his equivocal remarks, Trump was forced to issue a stronger statement rejecting hate groups two days after the “Unite the Right” rally, where Heather Heyer was killed by a suspected white supremacist who drove through a crowd of counter-protesters.

By Tuesday, however, the president returned to his assertion that there were multiple sides to the violence, all but defending some white nationalists as “very fine people.” He also lashed out at reporters when asked why he did condemn white supremacists from the start, claiming he didn’t have all the “facts” to do so on Saturday.

“I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct,” he said. “Unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”

Trump later followed up his condemnation Thursday with a second tweet that perhaps explains why the president was so quick to react to Barcelona and not Charlottesville. It should be noted that the story he cites below is fake.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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