President Donald Trump finally responded to the chaos in surrounding a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia today. Trump took to Twitter at first, saying:
The press conference Trump mentions is for Veteran's Affairs, a subject on which he's worked closely with Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter. A longtime friend and political donor to Trump, Perlmutter has served as a close advisor on the subject of veterans' healthcare, and was even given the pen Trump used to sign his first veterans' healthcare bill in a public ceremony.
If the meetings in Bedminster are related to Veterans' Affairs, might Perlmutter have been with Trump when violence broke out in Charlottesville between white supremacists and counter-protestors? Did they watch it together on Fox News? If so, what does Perlmutter, an Israeli army veteran, think about Trump's reluctance to fully place blame for this weekend's events on the alt-right groups embracing Nazi imagery who also tend to be Trump supporters?
In a live statement, Trump instead strongly condemned the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides", repeating a second time to drive the point home, "On many sides."
The qualification "on many sides" has drawn criticism for equivocating.
Trump then contrasted the ugliness in Charlottesville with the success of his presidency, including "record unemployment, unemployment the lowest its been in 17 years, companies pouring into our country."
"We have so many incredible things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville to me it's very, very sad," Trump said.