As demonstrated Wednesday night and Thursday night in the confusion over the deal (or lack of a deal) between President Trump and Democrats on DACA and a border wall, it’s tricky business trying to paraphrase anything the president says — just ask his current or former press secretary.
One thing is always a safe bet, though; if the press can sensationalize something Trump says, they will. When he asked during the frenzy to pull down Confederate statues where it would all end, he had a point — not even he imagined that a monument to Francis Scott Key and his “racist anthem” would be vandalized not long after.
He also had a point in his clumsily delivered and poorly received comments about Charlottesville and the bigotry and violence coming from “all sides.” Were the white supremacists with their tiki torches terrible bigots? Yes, of course; but as was the case at demonstrations that preceded that one, masked antifa members showing up with bats and pepper spray didn’t exactly quell violence.
On Thursday, as concrete barriers were going up around the Berkeley campus in anticipation of a speech by Ben Shapiro, Trump was doubling-down on his condemnation of violence on both sides.
Trump doubles down on “both sides” pic.twitter.com/xYeNzcYQ0f
— Anthony De Rosa ? (@Anthony) September 14, 2017
Trump says recent antifa violence justifies his condemnation of both sides in Charlottesville https://t.co/xGxcNinjDK
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) September 14, 2017
Asked about a meeting he had with Sen. Tim Scott, Trump again called out the antifa, an alt-left group that employs vigilante justice in policing the alt-right for thought crimes.
David Nakamura writes in the Washington Post:
“We had a great talk yesterday,” Trump said, during an on-record discussion with reporters on Air Force One en route to Washington after a trip to view hurricane-relief efforts in Naples, Fla. “I think, especially in light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said.”
The president added that “because of what’s happened since then with antifa, when you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying, and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”
Here’s what that last quote sounds like when run through the Democrats’ Trump-to-Democrat translator:
Trump is defending white supremacists again. https://t.co/X3p29QS1v5
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) September 14, 2017
Will the press be paying attention Thursday night as Shapiro speaks on the same campus where leftists set fires, vandalized buildings, and pepper-sprayed onlookers over a Milo Yiannopoulos speech that never even took place? Trump’s new chum Nancy Pelosi eventually found it within her to denounce antifa violence; will the Democrat Party?
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‘Just denounce BOTH a**hole orgs’: Jenna Jameson BLASTS AntiFa groupie in brutal back-and-forth https://t.co/lxB4nT3x8U
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 30, 2017