It was two days before President Donald Trump spoke out against the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, but in mere moments on Monday his statements offered fodder to late night hosts on a golden platter. Hosts including Seth Meyers, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel took time out to speak out against Donald Trump’s reaction.
Here is the scripted response from Trump:
“The fact that it took the President two days to come out and clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful. And I think he finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something. It’s important for everyone, especially white people in this country, to speak out against this. Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it.”
“All he had to do was condemn the Nazis. It shouldn’t have been a difficult thing. It’s not exactly a controversial stance. It’s not like we asked him to come out against puppies or something. They’re Nazis and Klan members and people who put pineapple on pizza, they’re terrible people.
And it isn’t as though he doesn’t like to speak out, you know, when Donald Trump is upset, when there’s something serious happening, he doesn’t keep it bottled up, he lets us know…”
“Here’s the problem, this is the nut of what’s most disturbing about this, is that the president came out after a tragedy, and after he made his statement, reasonable people could not tell if he was condemning Nazis.
And it’s not like Trump is a shrinking violet. He’s known for criticizing things! If only the president was as mad about neo-Nazis murdering people in the streets as he’s been about Hillary Clinton, The New York Times, CNN, Joe Scarborough, Kristen Stewart, the cast of Hamilton, Diet Coke, Nordstrom not selling his daughter’s clothes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, me, the state of New Hampshire, Gold Star families, Penn Jillette’s Las Vegas show, the movie Django Unchained, Meryl Streep, and lady Ghostbusters.”
“The leader of our country is called the president because he’s supposed to preside over society. His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally and immediately condemn what is evil in us. And if he does not do that, if he does not preside over our society, then he is not a president. You can stand for a nation or you can stand for a hateful movement. You can’t do both. And if you don’t make the right choice, I am confident that the American voter will.”
“Here’s the thing, the weekend’s events, it’s a tricky thing to make jokes about. Because so often, when Donald Trump does something outrageous or tweets insane statements, it distracts us from what is actually going on. But here we can’t allow Trump’s terrifying silence on this to distract us from what happened over the weekend.
Over the last 24 hours, I’ve been so wound up over the President’s silence I find myself forgetting how worrying and disgusting the people who marched are. And the fact that events like these can occur in 2017 appalls any decent human being. People lost their lives this weekend and racists, racists aren’t anything new. They’ve been round longer than all of us. But as a whole over the past few years they’ve felt the need to hide in the shadows, and I hope this outpouring of disgust for them will make them go back into those shadows or better disappear altogether.”
Conan spoke to Senator Al Franken Monday about the violence. Franken said:
“The neo-Nazis and white supremacists came wearing helmets and bringing clubs, and the violence started…and this driver, who has been charged, injured 20 and killed this lovely young woman and it is unbelievably sad. And President Trump, instead of condemning the white supremacists, just went out and said, ‘I condemn all violence from everybody’.
And I thought that was horrible – and it was very him.”