During a recent radio interview, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, repeated the false claim that President Donald Trump refused to condemn “Neo-Nazis” in the aftermath of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia protest in 2017.
An oft-repeated smear
Harris claimed that Trump had refused to condemn white supremacy on the debate stage and added, “That was on the heels of what he did around Charlottesville, which was to refuse to condemn Neo-Nazis who were, you know, spewing racial slurs and anti-Semitic slurs.”
“Joe Biden was so outraged by Donald Trump’s saying ‘fine people on both sides’ — that’s what got Joe in the race, to stand up and fight for the fact that you can’t have a president of the United States condoning or saying white supremacists are equal to peaceful protesters,” she said.
Except, President Trump did indeed specifically condemn Neo-Nazis and white supremacists — multiple times, in fact — in the immediate aftermath of the Charlottesville incident.
This was documented earlier this year in February by none other than the liberal-leaning FactCheck.org, in response to the same claim made by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
On the day of the deadly event, Trump issued a statement of condemnation for the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.”
That wasn’t specific enough for the media at the time, though, so two days later, on Aug. 14, 2017, Trump said in another statement, “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
That, too, was ignored by the media, which led to the issue being raised once again during a press conference the following day, Aug. 15, 2017, at which point the misconstrued and out-of-context quote regarding the “fine people on both sides” statement was uttered.
Pressed by obtuse reporters who refused to accept his responses, Trump addressed the underlying issue of removing historical monuments and the “fine people” on both sides of that argument.
“So you know what, it’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture,” Trump said. “And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”
So, for the umpteenth time, yes, President Trump did specifically condemn Neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the aftermath of Charlottesville — and has done so several times since.