Fox Tries To Debate Confederate Statues, Guests Tearfully Lament Trump

During a segment on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning, host Abby Huntsman brought left- and right-leaning guests on the air to debate protesters tearing down monuments of Confederate soldiers, but the guests took the conversation in a different direction.

When asked what she makes of protesters tearing down the statues in her home state of North Carolina, Wendy Osefo, a John Hopkins University professor and political commentator, said the discussion needs to be “beyond a monument.”

“This is about hatred, this is about white supremacy and to have Heather Heyer killed on U.S. soil by Nazis, Deandre Harris beaten and bludgeoned by Nazis,” she said. “This is not talking points here, this is not partisanship, this is human life and as a mother, to hear the President of these United States not sit here and condemn what has happened — as a black woman of two black boys, my heart bleeds.”

Huntsman attempted to steer the debate back to the Confederate statues several times, but GOP strategist Gianno Caldwell gave a tearful monologue in response, saying he came to the interview “with a heavy heart” and said he “couldn’t sleep at all” last night because of the President’s response to violence at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a self-proclaimed white supremacist allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing a woman named Heather Hayer.

The President took 48 hours to condemn the white nationalists and neo-Nazis and later said at a press conference that both the “alt-right” and the “alt-left” were to blame for the violence. 

Caldwell said he felt “betrayed” by Trump.

“Our President has literally betrayed the conscience of our country. The very moral fabric in which we have made progress when it comes to race relations in America. He has failed us. And it’s very unfortunate that our President would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday when he says there are ‘good people on the side of the Nazis. They weren’t all Nazis and they weren’t all white supremacists.’ Mr. President, good people don’t (pal) around with Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe they don’t consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis, certainly they hold those views. This has become very troubling for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday is completely lost and the potential to be morally bankrupt. I’m sorry, no I believe that and I’m being very honest as one who has been talking about these issues for a very long time. I’m sorry that this is where we are right now. I hope the President learns a lesson from his press conference on yesterday. It’s disturbing.”

Cable news hosts and guests have expressed their frustrations with President Donald Trump since his provocative press conference Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, Fox News co-host Kat Timpf called his remarks “disgusting” and said she felt as though she could cry over his comments. “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican, called Trump the President of the white nationalist movement.

Watch the Fox and Friends interview below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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