CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday reacted in shock to Donald Trump’s incredible press conference, wherein the president insisted “both sides” were to blame for the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Good afternoon, and welcome to ‘The Lead,’” Tapper began. “Wow, that was something else.”
“President Trump, amid the backlash over his conflicting tweets and statements, going off in extraordinary fashion,” Tapper explained, noting a press conference billed about infrastructure quickly turned into “the president strongly defending his initial response to the Charlottesville violence.”
“[Trump’s] staff spent days insisting that he was condemning the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis and white supremacists and not equating them with the counter-protesters, some of whom obviously were also violent. He was focusing on the Nazis and the racists who had come into this progressive college town and marched and chanted saying anti-Semitic things and racist things.”
Tapper noted Trump’s comments today essentially negated his “strong condemnation” of white supremacy.
“Here we have President Trump revealing that actually what he said to begin with was what he meant, that both sides were to blame. Both the Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists, and the counter-protesters.”
Later speaking with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Tapper noted “It is hard to imagine if that domestic terrorists action had been committed by somebody who was, instead of a white supremacist terrorist, a Muslim terrorist, it is impossible to imagine President Trump saying that both sides are responsible for the violence, saying that the people that came out against these extremists are equally to blame.”
As he signed off, Tapper summarized his feelings after the presser:
“Before I turn this over to Wolf Blitzer: sometimes I hear from viewers who say to me, ‘thank you for being on air. I feel as though I'm going insane, and ou remind me that I'm not.' To anybody out there confused and thinks, ‘I thought that the Klan and neo-Nazis and white supremacists, I thought there was no debate about this among civilized people, there isn’t a debate about it.”
Watch the videso below, via CNN:
Part One —
Part Two —
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed the quote "I feel like I'm going insane" to Jake Tapper. Tapper was referencing viewers who've described themselves as feeling like they're going insane. The headline has been updated to reflect this.