In a stunning reversal, used car salesman and U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at a Trump Tower press conference Tuesday afternoon that the deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville last week was just as much the fault of "alt-left" as the neo-Nazis themselves.
The press conference started out as usual, with the President mistaking protestors outside Trump Tower for fans. "Great to be back in New York with all of our friends and some great friends outside the building," Trump said, with no hint of irony. After then rambling about infrastruture for a moment—the nominal reason for the conference—things quickly got weird:
REPORTER: Sen. McCain said that the alt right is behind these attacks and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in Charlottesville?
TRUMP: I'm sure Senator McCain must know what he's talking about. But when you say the alt right, define alt right to me? You define it. No you define it.
REPORTER: Senator McCain defined it as —
TRUMP: Excuse me. What about the alt left who came charging, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Let me ask you this, what about the fact they came charging, that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute, I'm not finished. I'm not finished, fake news.
That was a horrible day.
I watched those very closely. Much more closely than you people watched it. And you have, you had a group on one side that was bad. And you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I'll say it right now.
You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.
REPORTER: Do you think that what you call the alt left is the same as neo Nazis?
TRUMP: 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. 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, but 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?
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.
It got worse. The whole thing is available below, but you might want to take a Xanax first—and a shower after.