“Beyond being wrong, it is just another totally needless, self-inflicted wound,” said a source close to the administration. The source added that new White House chief of staff John Kelly, who was supposed to tighten up a flailing operation, “will be seen as having failed his first test. Fair or unfair.”…

“I don’t understand what’s so hard about this,” said Rep. Steve Stivers, chair of the National Republican Campaign Committee, in a statement after the president’s press conference. “White supremacists and Neo-Nazis are evil and shouldn’t be defended.”

“I’m baffled,” said one GOP strategist Tuesday afternoon. “Truly mind-boggling,” said a House Republican aide.