The fallout continues against President Trump for his equivocation of “alt-left” protesters with white nationalists for inciting racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump was forced to disband two of his economic advisory councils after a mass exodus of CEOs in the wake of his incendiary comments made Tuesday at Trump Tower. The Strategic and Policy forum said in a statement, “As our members have expressed individually over the past several days, intolerance, racism and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values.” The corporations that composed the disbanded council, included IBM, The Boston Consulting Group, The Cleveland Clinic, Campbell Soup and 3M among others.
Several prominent Republican politicians were swift in their condemnation of the equivocation, but refused to mention Trump by name. Speaker Paul Ryan called the white supremacists “repulsive.” Marco Rubio went further, declaring that white nationalists were “100% to blame,” and warning that, “We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected.” Only Lindsay Graham blasted the president directly: “Mr. President, I encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in Charlottesville. Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them.”
As reported by CNN, members of the military also added their strong disagreement with Trump’s defense of the alt-right, with Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B. Neller tweeting: “no place for racial hatred or extremism in the @USMS. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.” Last week, Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, called the events in Charlottesville “shameful” and “unacceptable,” declaring that, “The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred.”
Past U.S. presidents and Trump’s 2016 Republican presidential nomination rivals came out swinging against the president. Ohio Governor John Kasich told NBC’s Today Show that Trump’s remarks were “pathetic. This is terrible.” Mitt Romney tweeted, “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.” And, in a joint statement, George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush condemned white supremacists, stating that, “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms.”
In what might be the most blistering blow to the president’s fragile ego, former president Barack Obama’s tweet of a Nelson Mandela quote for tolerance just became the most liked tweet of all time: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.”