MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace suggested President Donald Trump stifled his own personal feelings to read prepared remarks off the teleprompter following a potential serial bomber targeting critics of the administration.
“I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify,” Trump said at the White House on Tuesday. “We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence have no place in the United States of America.”
"There's this version of the president that emerges at moments when things are so bad he has to suppress and override his circuitry, which is usually to participate in the rough and tumble aspects of politics. This country has a long history of rough and tumble politics but Donald Trump is undeniably in a category of his own," Wallace noted. "But what we saw today is someone who seemed to be saying some of the right things at a moment when he is sort of lording over a climate that he has contributed to more than anybody else in American politics."
"Yeah, those remarks from the president, largely in the teleprompter," noted NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander.
"It's worth noting, that just a week ago, the president was in Montana and he was praising a sitting Republican congressman for body slamming a reporter," Alexander reminded. "We heard from the president today, saying there was no place for acts or threats of political violence in America, but it was the president who was effectively participating in that."
Alexander wondered if Trump would continue to use divisive rhetoric at a Wednesday evening rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin.
Trump initially condemned the violence at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, but reversed himself the next day.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Bob Woodward reported that Trump called his initial remarks condemning the violence "the biggest f*cking mistake I’ve made."