Trump vaguely condemns hate and violence after white supremacist rally gets canceled

A planned white supremacist rally was derailed at the last moment on Saturday when a state of emergency was declared minutes before the scheduled start time. Unite the Right, a march ostensibly in defense of a Robert E. Lee statue which was voted to be removed from what is now called Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, VA, never really got going as counterprotesters and white supremacists began clashing long before the scheduled noon start time.

A few politicians spoke out with quick statements on Twitter, must of them denouncing violence, with a few adding something about defending free speech. President Trump even saw fit to chime in with the vaguest possible rebuke.

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” POTUS tweeted.

It is impossible to tell who he is actually condemning here. Since both sides were technically fighting against each other, Trump could easily be referring to the people who staunchly oppose white nationalism. Considering Steve Bannon is his chief strategist, it’s not exactly a stretch to think Trump is sympathetic to the alt-right white supremacist cause.

Vice President Pence piggy-backed off of Trump’s tweet with a quote tweet of his own.

“I stand with @POTUS against hate & violence. U.S is greatest when we join together & oppose those seeking to divide us. #Charlottesville,” the VP’s tweet reads.

A statement equally as vague as Trump’s. Neither man was willing to outright condemn the white nationalists rallying in support of the confederacy. Instead they condemn the idea that things turned violent and everyone didn’t just sit around and let the Nazi rally proceed uninterrupted. The reason for this is extremely obvious, but let’s just say it anyway.

The overwhelming majority of people in the Unite the Right groups are Trump supporters. Directly calling them out means alienating a portion of their base. So they won’t do it.

UPDATE 2:05 PM: Trump has added a follow up which leads me to believe he doesn’t even know the first tweet exists.

“Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”

Mr. President…Thank you.

UPDATE 2, 3:45 PM: Trump held a press conference in which he condemned “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence, on many sides.”

Fuck off.

[Photo: Getty]