Following Trump's third, angry statement about the spectacle in Charlottesville yesterday, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke whipped out his smart phone and tweeted, "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth.”
The truth, as someone suggested, had set him free.
Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush reported that "members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private."
Eric Cantor, the former Republican congressman and Very Big Deal from Virginia, who's also Jewish, said Trump's efforts to equate the actions of counterprotesters with the neo-Nazis were “unacceptable.” “There’s no moral equivalence,” Cantor said.
Trump's rant yesterday sparked instant condemnation, especially from fellow Republicans (who are watching the intellectual underpinnings of their ideology turn to ca-ca, along with their electoral prospects):
Speaker Paul D. Ryan called white supremacy “repulsive” and said “there can be no moral ambiguity.”
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, tweeted: “Blaming ‘both sides’ for #Charlottesville?! No.”
Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said white nationalists in Charlottesville were “100% to blame” and continued in a subsequent tweet: “The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected.”
Senator Todd Young of Indiana, a freshman Republican, wrote: “This is simple: we must condemn and marginalize white supremacist groups, not encourage and embolden them.”
Yesterday, Trump was in an emboldening frame of mind, which is obviously his native (pure white) and habitual condition.
|Newly hired White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly|
studies the floor (and his future) during Trump's
impromptu tantrum yesterday.
Photo by Al Drago, New York Times