During Tuesday night’s debate, Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacists. In the Fox News analysis, panelist Katie Pavlich ignored that but lectured everyone with a whitewashing of his Charlottesville comments.
Here’s the exchange that occurred when moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he’d condemn white supremacists, as per The New York Times:
“Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and groups to say they need to stand down and not add to the violence and in number of the cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?” Chris Wallace, the moderator, asked the president.
“Sure. I’m willing to do that,” said Mr. Trump, quickly adding, “Almost everything I see is from the left wing. Not from the right wing.”
When Mr. Wallace pressed on, the president asked, “What do you want to call them?”
“White supremacists,” the moderator replied.
“Proud Boys, stand back and standby,” he said, apparently addressing the far-right group, then added: “But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody has to do something about antifa and the left. This is not a right-wing problem. This is left wing.”
That didn’t bother Pavlich. After running through a litany of criticisms of Biden – and none about Trump’s hopped up, never-ending bombast during the debate, she said this:
PAVLICH: Just as a point of fact that I have to point out, the president did not say in terms of what happened in Charlottesville that there were good neo-Nazis at that rally. He said there were good people on both sides, in terms of debating whether statues should come down but he condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists during that statement that he made about the Charlottesville incident. But it should be very clear that that should not be repeated as a truth.
Pavlich is literally correct but puts the best possible interpretation of Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, such as these:
Trump: "Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. If 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 if you reported it accurately, you would say."
Reporter: "The neo-Nazis started this. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest --"
Trump: "Excuse me, excuse me. They didn’t put themselves -- 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."
Furthermore, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, who gave similar comments from Trump four Pinocchios, noted, “there is little dispute” that the rally was scheduled by “a group of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and related groups.”
But what’s worse is that nobody in the debate claimed Trump said there were “good Nazis” at the rally.
Here’s the relevant exchange between Wallace asked Biden, starting at 49:53:
WALLACE: President Biden, you say that President Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, three years ago, when he talked about very fine people on both sides was what directly led you to launch this run for president. …
BIDEN: … The reason I got in the race – close your eyes. Remember what those people look like, coming out with their veins bulging and just spewing anti-Semitic bile, accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. A young woman got killed and the president said there are very fine people on both sides. No president has ever said anything like that.
Furthermore, I searched the entire C-Span transcript for "Nazi" and came up with nothing:
You can watch Trump refuse to condemn white supremacy in the September 29, 2020 presidential debate below, via Crooks and Liars. Underneath, you can watch Pavlich whitewash and lecture about Charlottesville, from Fox News’ post-debate analysis.
evil, which is President Donald Trump.
Trump has attained power through the use of insults,lies and intimidation. To think that anything good could come of that required a lot of self-delusion by those who chose evil over virtue. And those same people want us to continue through the next election with a government infected with lies, threats, insults, false accusations and illegal foreign influence. I say if the White House cannot be won with virtue, it is not worth winning and it never was. We now have the devil to pay. And I fear what is in store for us.
The only time Trump shut up was when they asked him to denounce white supremacy.