Kimmel Skewers Trump’s Charlottesville Response: ‘All He Had to Do Was Condemn Nazis’
"It's another disturbing Monday in America: We went into the weekend worrying about Kim Jong-un starting a war and we came out of it wondering if our president is cutting eye holes out of his bed sheets," Kimmel quipped during his opening monologue. "As you know, this weekend in Virginia the worst people in the United States went to the hardware store, bought tiki torches and lit them up to march in Charlottesville."
"A non-violent protestor was killed by a white supremacist. And so the president—who is the president, by the way—went on television to say this," the late night TV host recounted. He then played a clip of the initial statement aired Saturday evening in which Trump said, "We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides."
"He started strong and then he had to throw in 'on many sides,'" Kimmel continued, joking, "Well, let's not lay all the blame on the Nazis and the Klan. There were people who marched against them, you know! And then for two days he had no further comment."
"There were two sides, not 'many sides,' and one of those sides had Nazis on it," Kimmel explained, incredulous. All he had to do was condemn the Nazis. It shouldn't have been a controversial stance...After much prayer and reflection, the president this morning decided to take the difficult step of condemning the Nazis and the Klan, which is big for him. This is the sort of thing that could alienate his base."
On Saturday, white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The group, comprised of neo-Nazis and KKK members and which was met with resistance by counter-protestors, turned violent when a young woman, 32-year-old anti-hate activist Heather Heyer, was murdered by a white nationalist, 20-year-old James Fields, when he mowed down a group of people in his vehicle.
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