Today, CNN’s Jake Tapper threw away any premise of objective reporting when he aired a little skit he threw together for his audience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine for Mr. Tapper to become an editorial voice along the lines of Tucker Carlson, with strong opinions. That said, it’s not okay to repeat lies. Watch the footage for yourself and take note of how they framed the, “good people on both sides,” quote following the Charlottesville violence. (Scroll down for the full context.)
You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
As an aside, though an important one, I want to actually defend Rep. Ilhan Omar here. Does anyone really believe that AIPAC doesn’t expect to get support for their policies when they donate to US politicians?
REPORTER: Do you think what you call the alt left is the same as neo-Nazis?
TRUMP: Those people – all of those people, excuse me – I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.
REPORTER: Well, white nationalists –
TRUMP: Those people were also there, because they wanted to
protest the taking down of a statue Robert E. Lee. So – excuse me – and
you take a look at some of the groups and you see, and you’d know it if
you were honest reporters, which in many cases you’re not. Many of those
people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E.
Lee. So this week, it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall
Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And
is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You know, you really do have to
ask yourself, where does it stop?
REPORTERS YELL INDISTINCTLY
TRUMP: But, they were there to protest – excuse me – you take a
look the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of
the statue of Robert E. Lee. Infrastructure question. Go ahead.
REPORTER: Does the statue of Robert E. Lee stay up?
TRUMP: I would say that’s up to a local town, community or the federal government, depending on where it is located.
REPORTER: Are you against the Confederacy?
REPORTER: On race relations in America, do you think things
have gotten worse or better since you took office with regard to race
TRUMP: I think they’ve gotten better or the same – look – they
have been frayed for a long time, and you can ask President Obama about
that, because he’d make speeches about it. I believe that the fact that
I brought in, it will be soon, millions of jobs, you see where
companies are moving back into our country. I think that’s going to have
a tremendous positive impact on race relations. We have companies
coming back into our country. We have two car companies that just
announced. We have Foxconn in Wisconsin just announced. We have many
companies, I’d say, pouring back into the country. I think that’s going
to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. You know why? It is
jobs. What people want now, they want jobs. They want great jobs with
good pay. And when they have that, you watch how race relations will be.
And I’ll tell you, we’re spending a lot of money on the inner cities –
we are fixing the inner cities – we are doing far more than anybody has
done with respect to the inner cities. It is a priority for me, and it’s
REPORTER: Mr. President, are you putting what you’re calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?
TRUMP: I am not putting anybody on a moral plane, what I’m
saying is this: you had a group on one side and a group on the other,
and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible
and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side. There
was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You’ve just called
them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. So you
can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.
REPORTER: You said there was hatred and violence on both sides?
TRUMP: I do think there is blame – yes, I think there is blame
on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s
blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have
any doubt about it either. And, and, and, and if you reported it
accurately, you would say.
REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.
TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as
neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also
had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in
that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did.
You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down,
of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park
from Robert E. Lee to another name.
REPORTER: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.
TRUMP: Oh no, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George
Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status?
Are we going to take down – excuse me. Are we going to take down, are
we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas
Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay,
good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner.
Are we going to take down his statue? You know what? It’s fine, you’re
changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m
not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they
should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group
other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has
treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had
some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come
with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats –
you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.
REPORTER: I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?
TRUMP: No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call ‘em. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know, I don’t know if you know, but they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So I only tell you this: there are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country. Does anybody have a final – does anybody have a final question? You have an infrastructure question… (Politico)
Think Jake Tapper won't turn on a Democrat if she goes off script?