In an explosive interview that was supposed to be about Donald Trump's infrastructure, he allowed it to evolve into an attack on the Left. He attempted to create a false equivalence between the protesters in Charlottesville on the Left with the white supremacists / white nationalists / KKK.
Donald Trump in defense of Charlottesville white nationalists
Donald Trump decided he was no longer going to toe the line. He decided to channel the white nationalists in his base in an explosive fashion.
The president claimed he did not wait too long to respond to Charlottesville. He said he was waiting for the facts.
Trump refused to call the evil act of the white nationalists killing the young protester a terrorist act. He called him a murderer.
He then started to defend the Alt-Right.
"You had a group on one side that was bad," Trump said. "And you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I will say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very very violent."
Trump then seem to support keeping the statues of the American traitors.
"So this week it is Robert E. Lee," Trump said. "I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder. Is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You really have to ask yourself, where does it stop. They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee."
When asked if he believed the left and the white nationalists were comparable, Trump altered reality.
"I am not putting anybody on a moral plane," Trump replied. "You had a group on one side. And you had a group on the other. They came at each other with clubs and it was vicious. And it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this side --- you can call them the left, you just called them the left, --- that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want. That's the way it is."
Trump then sort of mocked George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to make a point.
"George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner?" Trump said. "Will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson. What do you think about Thomas Jefferson? Do you like him? Are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. So you know what? It's fine. You are changing history. You are changing culture."
Notice how the president conflates the civil war with the original sin of the country. It is a complex comparison. But it is important to remember these statues represented traitors to America.
Former KKK leader David Duke has already thanked the president for his press conference.
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) August 15, 2017
This was an unbelievable press conference. This is our president. Really.