Kal Penn: We Didn’t Want To Be Linked To ‘Tiny-Fingered Vulgarian’ Who Tweets

Andrew Harnik/AP

In the wake of mass resignations from one of President Donald Trump’s committees, actor Kal Penn said members of the Committee on the Arts and the Humanities finally decided they didn’t want their names associated with Trump anymore.

The final straw was the President’s response to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he blamed both sides — white nationalists and counter-protesters — for the violence that broke out, resulting in the death of one counter-protester.

“I think most of us didn’t feel like it was appropriate anymore and didn’t want our names associated with him anymore,” Penn said, appearing on CNN’s “New Day.”

He said Trump’s attacks on transgender service members, his calls to end Obamacare and the pull out of the Paris Climate Accord were also major issues.

As cultural advisers to the President, many of whom were holdovers from President Barack Obama’s administration, Penn said the group felt they needed to take a stand on Charlottesville because it was “very much a cultural issue.”

“His response was the worst of who we are and we felt that’s not who we are at all,” he said. “This was a point where an opportunity to resign en masse would send a stronger message about what I think the majority of Americans really are.”

On Friday, after Penn and the rest of the department turned in their letter of resignation, the White House responded vy saying the President had already decided not to renew funding for the committee.

Penn responded on Twitter mocking the President. 

He said that kind of behavior is consistent with how Trump has handled most backlash since moving into the oval office.

“Look, you’re dealing with a tiny fingered vulgarian who loves to tweet crazy things as his way of getting policy done. Come on. We’re better than that,” Penn said Tuesday, referencing “Spy” magazine, the defunct publication that consistently mocked Trump. 

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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