President Donald Trump’s controversial response to the events in Charlottesville did no favors for his approval ratings or his relationship with lawmakers, but it hasn’t stopped the current commander-in-chief from insisting once again that the “other side” was also at fault this summer.
CNN reports that on Thursday Trump leaned hard into his message that violent clashes was something that could be blamed on both sides. When asked by reporters aboard Air Force One about meeting with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Trump dove back into the issue.
“We had a great talk yesterday,” said Trump. “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. Now, because of what’s happened since then with Antifa — you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump might have a point.’ I said, ‘You’ve got some very bad people on the other side also,’ which is true.”
Trump and Scott spoke on Wednesday in a conversation where the Republican senator said he confronted Trump on the issue of his “both sides” comment. Trump says he and Scott had a “great conversation.” Scott shared his perspective of their meeting when speaking with reporters on Wednesday. According to Scott, he addressed Trump’s “both sides” viewpoint.
“My response was that, while that’s true, I mean I think if you look at it from a sterile perspective, there was an antagonist on the other side,” Mr. Scott said. “However, the real picture has nothing to do with who is on the other side.”
“It has to do with the affirmation of hate groups who over three centuries of this country’s history have made it their mission to create upheaval in minority communities as their reason for existence,” he continued. “I shared my thoughts of the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, Nazis. So there’s no way to find an equilibrium when you have three centuries of history versus the situation that is occurring today.”
How Trump’s voluntary return to his controversial comments plays out will be examined by cable news for weeks to come.