Update: Pretty much, this is unfolding as one would predict:
As Guy Benson pointed out on Twitter, though, a president doesn’t make that kind of a statement because it will make his implacable critics suddenly love him. He makes that kind of statement because it’s the right thing to do, and should have been done the first time.
Update: ABC News has the part of the speech in which Trump specifically calls out white supremacists:
— ABC News (@ABC) August 14, 2017
Update: I’m not sure if this would have improved even if Trump had said it on Saturday:
NAACP official just said on MSNBC that it didn't matter what Trump said because she wouldn't have believed him anyway.
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) August 14, 2017
Update: This would have made a very good first statement. The question is whether this was too little, too late.
Update: Trump ends this short statement with no follow-up questions allowed after declaring racism in all forms as “evil” and antithetical to the American spirit.
Update: Offers prayers for Heather Heyer and the two Virginia law enforcement officers, and says all three embodied the true character of the American people.
Update: Specifically calls out “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK” as “repugnant.”
Update: “No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws.”
Update: Trump leads off with a mention about his economic policy, but then shifts quickly to Charlottesville. Specifically cites “racist violence,” and promises that those involved will be held accountable.
Original post follows ….
As promised by Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump will give a second statement to the press to follow up on his much-criticized “all sides” reaction to the violence in Charlottesville. The White House Youtube channel has been prepared for a live statement, which can be streamed here:
I’ll live blog the statement as it unfolds, in reverse chronological order. However, we can probably expect to hear more reaction to the resignation of Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier from a White House advisory board over Trump’s initial response to the violent clash. Trump didn’t take kindly to that earlier:
Merck & Co Inc Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying he was taking a stand against intolerance and extremism. …
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Frazier, who is African-American, said in a statement announcing his resignation.
“As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he said.
If Trump gets more specific and condemnatory, will Frazier return? Probably not, given Trump’s reaction to his statement, but the strategy here will probably be to stanch the bleeding rather than return to status quo ante.
It’s interesting to note that this statement follows a meeting between Sessions, Trump, and new FBI Director Christopher Wray as the Department of Justice was announcing a domestic-terrorism arrest in Oklahoma. Don’t be surprised if that’s part of Trump’s remarks, too.