Trump sees 'both sides' of white supremacy but only one side of those he deems enemies

Trump defends Charlottesville statement (full remarks)
Trump defends Charlottesville statement (full remarks)


    Trump defends Charlottesville statement (full remarks)


Trump defends Charlottesville statement (full remarks) 15:57

Story highlights

  • Trump has a long history of standing his ground on groups that he sees as political enemies
  • He has routinely castigated Mexicans, Muslims and women

Washington (CNN)In saying that there was "blame on both sides" and abandoning his previous denouncements of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, President Donald Trump attempted to apply nuance to bigotry and hate.

"I think there is blame on both sides," he said during Tuesday's combative exchange with reporters over the weekend's bloody violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. "You had a group on the other side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I'll say it right now."
In making a rhetorical U-turn back to the very stance that he was roundly criticized for over the weekend, Trump appears to have taken a softer approach to neo-Nazis, members of the KKK and white nationalists than he has to a slew of other groups.
    Some examples:


    Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015 in the very same elevator lobby in which he delivered his stunning statement about Charlottesville. And in the speech that kicked off his official campaign, he derided Mexicans as "rapists" who were bringing drugs and crime across the US border.
    "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump said in the speech. "They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."
    He did, however, allow that "some, I assume, are good people."
    He has also threatened to deport millions of Mexicans and promised to build a wall to keep other Mexicans -- who he has referred to as "bad hombres" and "bad people" out of the United States.


    Since September 2015, Trump has made a series of broadsides against Muslims, castigating them all as terrorists. He told CNN's Anderson Cooper in March 2016 that he thinks "Islam hates us," drawing little to no distinction between the religion and radical Islamic terrorism.
    As a candidate, Trump also said he was open to the idea of shuttering every mosque in the country because, as he told MSNBC in November 2015, "some of the ideas and some of the hatred, the absolute hatred, is coming from these areas."


    Trump has a long history of making reductive comments about women he views as opponents, routinely attacking them on their physical appearance.
    His high-profile clashes with a litany of powerful women including Megyn Kelly, who he said had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" when she questioned him on his history of making derogatory comments about women during a GOP presidential debate. In June, he lashed out at MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, describing her in a series of tweets as "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and said that she had "been bleeding badly from a face-lift."
    Trump has defended himself time and again and has said that he has "great respect for women" and has touted the roles that women have played in his businesses, but the list of demeaning comments he have made is lengthy.
    His comments about women are not limited to his time on the campaign trail and the Oval Office and go far beyond female journalists. The comments he made in the 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that emerged in October 2016, in which Trump bragged about grabbing women by their genitalia, threatened to derail his presidential bid.
    He was also rebuked by Hillary Clinton during a 2016 presidential debate for his focus on the weight of Alicia Machado, Miss Universe 1996, who Trump pressured to lose weight. Trump deemed Machado's weight gain, "a real problem."
    Trump, of course, was unsparing in his criticism of Clinton, calling her a "such a nasty woman" on the debate stage and, in one rally in October 2016 saying that when Clinton walked in front of him during a presidential debate he "wasn't impressed."