CNN host Jake Tapper called out White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert on Sunday because President Donald Trump had refused to specifically condemn a so-called Alt-Right rally with self-styled Nazis after an alleged white supremacist with the group appeared to run over a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19.
By Sunday, reports said that at least three people had died in what many officials are describing as a domestic terrorist incident.
During a short conversation with reporters on Saturday, Trump blamed the violence “on many sides, on many sides.” The president, however, did not call out the white nationalists directly.
Tapper pointed out that Trump "didn't go far enough" in his condemnation of the rally.
"He believes that all Americans should have a conversation and an open debate on this matter," Bossert opined. "This violence cannot stand. He made that clear yesterday."
According to Bossert, not everyone who participated in the white supremacist rally is a racist.
"I'm sure there were good people," he insisted, "that had various opinions on the maintenance or the removal of the statue. But what they found when they showed up were groups showed up from both sides looking for trouble, dressed in riot gear, prepared for violence."
"How many people did the counter-protesters kill yesterday, Mr. Bossert?" Tapper quipped.
Without answering the question, Bossert observed that "one death is too many."
"The victim was a counter-protester!" Tapper interrupted.
"Hold on, Jake!" Bossert exclaimed. "I don't for one moment and I won't allow you for one second to put me in a position of being an apologist for somebody who is now a charged murderer."
"You just decried both sides," Tapper said, raising his voice. "Here we have a situation, Mr. Bossert, where neo-nazis, the Klan, Alt-Right and others went to Charlottesville, Virginia chanting antisemitic, anti-African-American and other racist slogans, provoking the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, making them feel intimidated. Yes, violence did break out. But one person was killed by one of these Alt-Right-Klan-Nazi protesters."
"And you just decried both sides!" the CNN host added. "This is the issue."
"No I didn't," Bossert remarked incorrectly. "You're making this issue a little bit distorted."
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