Trump’s Stunningly Milquetoast Response To The Charlottesville Protests

The president likes to call protesters “criminals” and “thugs.” Not this time.

Patriot Front was formed in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.AP Images

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As Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in response to white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter: 

Trump didn’t refer to Charlottesville in the tweet. He tweeted again 40 minutes later, after a backlash on social media. In both messages, the president made no mention of the groups behind the “Unite the Right” rally, which was organized to protest the removal of a confederate statue honoring Robert E. Lee.

The statement Saturday marks a sharp contrast to the president’s forceful denunciations of protests in other contexts—especially at his rallies. In those situations, he has often called protesters “criminals” and “thugs,” encouraged violence by his supporters, and dog-whistled to racism. 

 

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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