Sunday morning saw increased pressure on President Trump to address why he blamed this weekend’s Charlottesville violence upon “many sides” while declining to explicitly utter the words “Nazis” or “white supremacists.” For this omission, GOP and Democratic lawmakers roundly called him out, and even his special assistant and eldest daughter, Ivanka, departed from her father by denouncing these extremist groups by name. Finally, the White House felt it necessary to address the matter and released a statement to claim that Trump did indeed include these groups in his statement (he did not).
CNN’s Brian Stelter waded through the spell-check-crippled statement from an unidentified WH spokesperson:
“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, nephew-nazi [sic] and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”
Stelter did point out the typo within the statement, for ’twas unavoidable. Yet if Trump was calling for unity, everyone missed that message. And he never mentioned white supremacists or Nazis within this statement:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”
The White House’s Sunday statement sounds similar to Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ chronic falsehoods that often appear during press briefings, and we’ll likely hear more of the same on Monday. It’s an odd move but not unusual from an administration that has been criticized for declining to condemn dangerous fringe movements, possibly out of fear of alienating part of the Trump base.
However, there would be no time like the present — after former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke attended the Charlottesville rally while claiming it was was about “fulfilling promises of Donald Trump” — to switch modes. Yet the White House’s spell-check betrayals don’t look to be improving anytime soon.