Asked if there were "very fine people" on both sides in Charlottesville, Virginia, Miss Texas rips into Trump.
With loud applause swelling in the background, Margana Wood, aka Miss Texas, condemned Donald Trump on Sunday night for not forcefully denouncing Nazi and Klansmen in the wake of the white supremacists violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
“I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and making sure all Americans feel safe in this country. That is the number one issue right now,” Wood announced, as the audience cheered.
The pop culture condemnation came during the question-and-answer portion of the Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The flashpoint reiterated just how deeply Trump’s embrace of white supremacists has been felt in America.
— Remove Trump Now (@KaniJJackson) September 11, 2017
JESS CAGLE: Last month, a demonstration of neo-Nazi, white supremacists and the KKK in Charlottesville turned violent, and a counter-protester was killed. The president said there was shared blame with quote, "Very fine people on both sides." Were there? Tell me yes or no and explain.
WOOD: I think that the white supremacist issue, it was very obvious it was a terrorist attack. And I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and making sure all Americans feel safe in this country. That is the number one issue right now.
Wood was referencing the fact that in the aftermath the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Trump seemed oddly reluctant to forcefully condemn the terror attack, then during an angry press conference said “both sides” of the protest were to blame for the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd. Trump also described some of the white supremacists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue as “very fine people.”
Trump’s response to the killing set off a wave of condemnations from politicians, business leaders, and senior members of the U.S. military.
“Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate,” wrote former Vice President Joe Biden. “We have an American president who has emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support.”
A poll soon after the right-wing riot in Charlottesville showed that a plurality of Americans view Trump as an “alt-right” president, and not a mainstream conservative. The Associated Press defines the “alt-right” as “a political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism.”
In the wake of the Charlottesville fiasco, Trump gave a divisive rally speech in Arizona, warning that enemies of the state were trying to steal American “heritage.”