Mike Pence continued his attempt to cover up for Donald Trump’s refusal to directly rebuke racial terrorism committed in his name, but when challenged by a reporter on his claim that Trump had forcefully spoken out, he instead complained about “many in the media.”
Trump has refused to call out the white supremacists and Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia, and who killed a young woman. Instead he referred to “many sides” being involved in the case.
Maybe instead of complaining about “many in the media,” Pence should complain about Nazis and alt-right white supremacists like Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, et al who swarm all over the West Wing.
Appearing on NBC News, Pence told White House correspondent Peter Alexander that Trump “stated clearly” that he condemns hate and violence committed by white supremacists. Alexander challenged Pence’s claim, pointing out that Trump “hasn’t used the same words.”
In response, a visibly disturbed Pence insisted that Trump had made his point clear, but Alexander noted that even Trump’s fellow Republicans, like Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have called out Trump for his immoral and inadequate response to the attack.
Pence then complained, “Many in the media have spent an awful lot of time focusing on what the president said, and criticisms of what the president said, instead of criticizing those who brought that hatred and violence to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.”
PENCE: I think the president yesterday spoke into a national moment. Words that the American people needed to hear. That we condemn acts of violence, acts of hatred.
ALEXANDER: He said on “many sides.” Name those sides. What are the sides?
PENCE: Well, look, as I said today, we condemn, in the strongest terms, the hate and violence advocated by groups like white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and their ilk.
ALEXANDER: Well that’s one side, what’s the other side, when he says on “many sides”?
PENCE: Well, as you look throughout the course of recent years, we’ve seen protests turn violent. We’ve seen fringe groups use peaceful protest environment to bring violence, in some cases against police officers.
ALEXANDER: But only one group yesterday, Mr. Vice President, killed an American.
This isn’t the first time Pence has put himself in the role of batting clean-up in service of Trump’s bigotry. When Trump refused to directly condemn the anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish cemeteries — after a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day omitting references to Jewish victims of the ethnic cleansing — the White House responded by sending Pence to the site in order to take some of the heat off Trump.
The strategy of evasion and misdirection won’t change the fact that Trump’s bigotry has again been exposed and revealed. He continues to live down to his own rhetoric, while refusing to condemn a major source of his support. Mike Pence cannot fix that.
You can read the entire transcript at the ShareBlue link above.