Donald Trump shocked many Americans with his press conference on Tuesday.
The president held a press conference which was intended to be about infrastructure, but quickly devolved into Trump accusing “both sides” of violence in the weekend’s white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters — many bearing flaming torches, weapons, and Nazi symbols — marched to protest the town’s removal of a statue of Confederate Army general Robert E. Lee.
Trump was initially criticized for taking two days to condemn white supremacists, and hate groups such as the KKK, in his remarks about the protests, where one woman was killed and 20 were injured after a 20-year-old man drove his car into a crowd, in an act of domestic terrorism.
In addition to calling out the “alt-left,” counter-demonstrators who Trump accused of being “very, very violent,” the president defended some of the protesters, saying, “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis. Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee … Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
“You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” Trump said. “Nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it.”
Among those who spoke out in condemnation of the president’s remarks were many in Hollywood, who took to social media to express their anger and dismay.
“I. MISS. YOU. You made America great. This 45 is making America hate. #44,” Octavia Spencer shared on Instagram, addressing former U.S. President Barack Obama.
“One of the most transparent lies Trump told today is that he likes to wait for the facts before he makes a statement,” John Legend tweeted.
One of the most transparent lies Trump told today is that he likes to wait for the facts before he makes a statement. Hahahahahaahaha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 15, 2017
“W/o a prepared statement, this Pres says what he really believes: Equating neo-Nazis to those protecting civil rights is disgraceful & crazy,” Barbra Streisand tweeted.
W/o a prepared statement, this Pres says what he really believes: Equating neo-Nazis to those protecting civil rights is disgraceful & crazy
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 15, 2017
“Donald, the only one praising your comments today is [former KKK Imperial Wizard] David Duke,” George Takei tweeted. “That’s how deeply damaged you are & how deeply you’re damaging our country.”
Donald, the only one praising your comments today is David Duke. That’s how deeply damaged you are & how deeply you’re damaging our country.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 15, 2017
“I need a drink. I don’t drink,” Questlove tweeted after the press conference.
I need a drink. I don’t drink
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) August 15, 2017
NBA star LeBron James took to Twitter, writing, “Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!”
Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 15, 2017
Chris Evans fired off several tweets expressing his shock over the press conference, including one where he said, “Seriously. EVERYONE needs to watch that press conference in its entirety. He does everything flawlessly wrong. It’s a stunning disaster.”
Seriously. EVERYONE needs to watch that press conference in its entirety. He does everything flawlessly wrong. It’s a stunning disaster.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 15, 2017
Read on for more celebrity reactions to Trump’s Charlottesville press conference.
America’s fate is not with the racist madman POTUS, it’s with the 300 Republicans in Congress not impeaching him. #DoSomething
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) August 15, 2017
KKK @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/21QW9WTC1p
— ilana glazer (@ilazer) August 15, 2017
Trump is defending the white supremacist march on Friday. This presidency can’t end soon enough.
— deray mckesson (@deray) August 15, 2017
Sound the alarm. This country is on fire. And the arsonist is the President.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 15, 2017
One good thing about that abomination of a speech: it’s now impossible for any Trump supporter to pretend they don’t know what he is.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 15, 2017
#Trump just stood up in defense of the Hitler youth. Can we all pull this asshole out of office now? Will Secret Service help us do it yet?
— Jimmi Simpson (@jimmisimpson) August 15, 2017
OMG. What did we just watch? He blamed the anti-racism protesters. He likened George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Donald. Trump. Fuck. You.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 15, 2017
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