Archive for Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Trump revisits his Charlottesville comments in angry speech

President Donald Trump reacts to a song as he arrives at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Arizona.

President Donald Trump reacts to a song as he arrives at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Arizona.

August 23, 2017


PHOENIX — President Donald Trump opened his political rally in Phoenix with calls for unity and an assertion that "our movement is about love." Then he erupted in anger.

He blamed the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to violence at a Charlottesville, Va., protest organized by white supremacists. And he shouted that he had "openly called for healing, unity and love" in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and had simply been misrepresented in news coverage.

He read from his three responses to the racially charged violence — getting more animated with each one. He withdrew from his suit pocket the written statement he'd read the day a woman was killed by a man who'd plowed a car through counter-protesters, but he skipped over the trouble-causing part that he'd freelanced at the time — his observation that "many sides" were to blame.

That, as well as his reiteration days later that "both sides" were to blame for the violence that led to the death of Heather Heyer and two state troopers, led Democrats and many Republicans to denounce Trump for not unmistakably calling out white supremacists and other hate groups.

Trump also suggested he still intends to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is awaiting sentencing in Arizona after his conviction in federal court for disobeying court orders to stop his immigration patrols. But he left little doubt that he wanted to do it. He said he'd aimed to avoid "controversy" by not immediately granting the pardon. But Trump also said, "I'll make a prediction: I think he's going to be just fine."

Of his media criticism, the president told the crowd of thousands shoehorned into the Phoenix convention center: "You know where my heart is. I'm only doing this to show you how damned dishonest these people are."

Well after his appearance had ended, Trump sent a tweet on his Twitter account saying: "Not only does the media give a platform to hate groups, but the media turns a blind eye to the gang violence on our streets."

Trump's broadside against the media, and the "fake news" he says is out to get him, was one of several detours he took from his prepared remarks at a rally where he was introduced by Vice President Mike Pence and other speakers appealing for unity and healing.

The president unabashedly acknowledged that his own advisers had urged him to stay on message, and that he simply could not.

He went on to skewer both of Arizona's Republican senators, insisting that his coy refusal to mention their names showed a "very presidential" restraint. He said his aides had begged him, "Please, please Mr. President, don't mention any names. So I won't." Yet he'd clearly described Sen. John McCain as the reason Congress didn't repeal and replace the much-maligned Affordable Care Act, and he labeled Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake as "weak" on law enforcement and immigration.

He followed up Wednesday morning on Twitter, writing "Phoenix crowd last night was amazing - a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!"

As for how he would assist with the upcoming Herculean tasks facing Congress — passing tax reform, raising the debt ceiling, and agreeing on a budget — Trump offered little detail. He did threaten that if legislators force a government shutdown "we're building that wall," a reference to his campaign promise to close off the border with Mexico.

He also said he thinks the U.S. will "end up probably terminating" the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico "at some point," though he said he hasn't made up his mind.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of," Trump said.

In the comfort of his most fervent fans, Trump often resurrects his free-wheeling 2016 campaign style, pinging insults at perceived enemies such as the media and meandering from topic to topic without a singular theme. This was Trump's eighth rally since taking office in January, and each event is attended by supporters screened by his campaign.

His comfort-level was apparent: As he discussed his responses to Charlottesville, he interrupted himself. "I didn't want to bore you. You understand where I'm coming from. You people understand."

Outside the rally, the divisiveness seen across the country was on display.

One man on a loudspeaker said the largely Latino protesters belong in the kitchen. A Trump opponent hoisted a sign depicting the president with horns. A day of noisy but largely peaceful protests turned unruly after his speech, as police fired pepper spray at crowds after someone apparently lobbed rocks and bottles at officers.

Trump is on a two-day trip to the west, which continues Wednesday with travel to an American Legion convention in Reno, Nevada. He began his Arizona visit Tuesday with a brief trip to the southern edge of the country, touring a Marine Corps base in Yuma that is a hub of operations for the U.S. Border Patrol.


Phillip Chappuie 7 months ago

From what I see, if he spent half as much time trying to accomplish the things he said he was going to do instead of holding rallies and bragging about the size of things and how people love him and trash talking others, he would be a lot better off. For a man to say he has done more in that same amount of time as any other President is just unhinged. Maybe he signed a bunch of EO's mostly out of spite and not right but he has not ushered through any significant legislation at all. He is quite mentally ill. The sad and failing DJT.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 months ago

Are you proud Kansas? Are you proud America??

You have bought the biggest bill of goods that stink with a stench of doom and disaster.

Are you proud?? ..............are you REALLY PROUD??

Bob Smith 7 months ago

Proud that Hillary Clinton will never be President.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months ago

Wow, Bob. You and Trump just can't get over that election, can you? Why not try defending your lord and master, instead of trying to derail the conversation? Is it just too hard to defend him?

Bob Smith 7 months ago

Dorothy, don't ever stop wildly misreading things. You are the most entertaining poster on this site. The eternal questioning is getting tedious, tho.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months ago

And you never answer the questions, do you? Why?

Bob Smith 7 months ago

If you sign a credo petition, you're signing up for a lifetime of spam.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months ago

Nice of him to have a moment of silence for the soldiers who died, oh wait, he didn't even mention them. Of course not. What does that have to do with Trump. It's all about Trump and how everyone is always picking on him. Poor baby.

Michael Kort 7 months ago

Trump is stuck on his wall while Americas infrastructure crumbles !

Water, Sewer, Natural Gas, Electrical Lines, Highways & Bridges all need repair........and Trump wants to build his wall !!

Where is an infrastructure bill which should create jobs and have wide support in congress and nation wide ?

Lawrence is not the only town where utility bills and infrastructure costs are climbing due to pipe replacement and other maintenance costs for sewer, water, roads, bridges, the electric grid, etc..

I guess that Trump is too busy fighting with everybody and anybody to get anything doable done ! smart is that ? ? ?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months ago

If the Republicans in congress really want to keep their jobs, they would pass an infrastructure bill, without the wall, let Trump obstruct it to get his wall, then use that to campaign. There will be fewer and fewer places where they can reelected if they align themselves with Trump.

Brock Masters 7 months ago

Trump's Afghanistan speech was epic. His rally comments in AZ were good too.

Trump has a lot of faults, but he says a lot with which I agree.

Stop illegal immigration. Stop nation building. Kill terrorist Call out all evil, even those with whom the media love. Call out the media for their fake news.

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