America is still feeling the shockwaves from the horrific events of the Charlottesville rally. Last weekend, white supremacists flooded into Charlottesville, Virginia, and along with them came peaceful counter-protestors to fight back against their racist rhetoric.
In a very brief amount of time, three people were dead and at least 33 are injured, but Trump refused to call the Charlottesville rally a terrorist attack, instead saying "both sides" were to blame.
One white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr, drove into a group of counter-protestors and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
When Trump spoke out purportedly to condemn the attack - TWO DAYS AFTER IT HAPPENED - he wouldn't use the words 'white supremacist' and repeatedly blamed “many sides”.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.
“On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
Today, Trump has once again refused to call it terrorism, and has instead angrily suggested the three deaths and umpteen injuries were just as much the fault of the “alt-left”.
In an extraordinary press conference, Trump compared the counter-protesters and white supremacists:
"You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible. 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've just called them the left -- that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that's the way it is."
He also condemned the media coverage of the ‘Unite the Right rally’ - defending those in attendance: “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”
Just to clarify, the group included white nationalists, including neo-Nazis, skinheads, and Ku Klux Klan members .
The rally was spurred not by a feared loss of rights, like the Women’s Mach, nor by an inherent prejudice that was seeing people die at far higher rates than their white counterparts, like Black Lives Matter. No, the white supremacists were protesting the upcoming removal of a statue of Confederate icon Robert E. Lee from a park.
Trump said: "Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee."
His inability to strongly denounce the terrorist behaviour of the white supremacists was eerily reminiscent of his refusal to disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 2015.
Incidentally, Duke has just been gushing over Trump's defence of the 'very fine people' at Charlottesville white nationalist march.