Donald Trump claimed the press “will never be satisfied” after his “additional remarks” Monday afternoon about the Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalist riots, which left one counter-protester dead.
In addition to calling press the “#Fake News Media,” Trump wrote that journalists are “truly bad people!”
Trump’s condemnation of the press came hours after he read a prepared statement about Saturday’s violence, which occurred when a crowd of white nationalists and neo-Nazis clashed with counter-protesters. “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,” Trump said on Monday, two days after his initial statements failed to call the hate groups out by name. “We are a nation founded on the truth, that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator, we are equal under the law and we are equal under our Constitution.”
In the wake of Saturday’s unrest, Trump blamed the violence “on many sides.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said Saturday, before claiming the issue was bigger than just his administration. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
The remarks were quickly slammed, as many celebrities, activists, journalists, and politicians criticized the president for his failure to indict white supremacy by name. The neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, meanwhile, praised Trump for his exclusion of the hate groups: “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate … on both sides! So he implied the [anti-fascist counter-protesters] are haters.”
Asked Monday afternoon by CNN reporter Jim Acosta why he didn’t condemn the hate groups on Saturday, Trump said, “They’ve been condemned. They have been condemned.” After a further back-and-forth about a press conference Trump had promised and never held, the president criticized Acosta as “fake news.”
According to The Associated Press, after his Saturday comments, Trump “expressed anger to those close to him about what he perceived as the media’s unfair assessment of his remarks, believing he had effectively denounced all forms of bigotry, according to outside advisers and White House officials.”
After his tweet late Monday, numerous people questioned how Trump could refer to the press as “truly bad people” but not white supremacists.