Trump stunned and angered the nation with bizarre embrace of white nationalism, and now the White House faces a massive backlash.
Denouncing Donald Trump as our “so-called president,” NBA star Lebron James added his voice to a rising, bipartisan choir of condemnations, as the stunned nation continues to grapple with Trump’s shocking embrace of white nationalism.
It’s a choir that now includes the Army and the Marines, as well as typically risk-averse business leaders (Wal-Mart, Intel, Under Armour), world-famous authors like J.K. Rowling, Republican politicians, and celebrities.
"Pathetic. Just pathetic, isn't it?" That’s how Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich summed it up this morning on the “Today” show.
“What Trump did today was a moral disgrace," Charles Krauthammer announced on Fox News Tuesday night.
The shock and awe all flows from Trump’s uncouth and un-presidential shouting match with reporters in the lobby of his Trump Tower in New York City. It’s the same lobby where two summers ago Trump began his presidential bid by attacking “rapists” who crossed the border from Mexico.
On Tuesday, Trump sprinted past common sense and decency by claiming that some “very fine people” had gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend as part of a white supremacists gathering.
That Nazi-fueled hate-fest — where marchers on Friday night chanted “Jews will not replace us!” — ended Saturday with the death of one American and three dozen protesters being sent to the hospital. After days of waffling on who was to blame, Trump on Tuesday emphatically announced both sides were to blame and that white supremacists were, at times, being unfairly maligned.
Former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke toasted Trump’s performance, but most people were sickened by it, and the White House now faces perhaps it’s most wide-ranging crisis of character.
“Sympathy For The Devil” reads Wednesday's New York Daily News front page.
Leaders of the Army and the Marines were quick to publicly signal that they in no way endorsed Trump’s radical, racialist rhetoric:
The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It's against our Values and everything we've stood for since 1775.
— GEN Mark A. Milley (@ArmyChiefStaff) August 16, 2017
No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017
Inside the White House, one aide told Axios there was a fear of the administration imploding following yesterday’s debacle. "The danger for Trump now is that one senior resignation will start a run on the bank."
The conservative National Review Online conceded Trump “gave the alt-right its greatest national media moment ever.”
Meanwhile, Republicans did their best to sprint away from the president and his abhorrent, toxic views:
Blaming "both sides" for #Charlottesville?! No. Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no.
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) August 15, 2017
But the overriding feeling today seems to be one of profound anger and sadness. "This is bizarre and revolting," tweeted director Ava DuVernay. Added author Michael Eric Dyson on CNN this morning, “We have a bigot-in-chief.”