President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed questions about his two-day delay before condemning hate groups by name after a white supremacist rally turned deadly over the weekend.
“Mr. President, can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?” CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump after a bill signing ceremony at the White House.
“They’ve been condemned,” Trump replied. “They have been condemned.”
Trump did in fact condemn “criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups” on Monday from the White House, but only after intense criticism after he blamed “many sides” for the carnage in Charlottesville on Saturday.
The white supremacist rally in the city was held in response to the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. One man who had earlier been photographed with a white supremacist group allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen.
Acosta followed up, referencing a planned press conference that Trump on Friday had promised would occur Monday: “And why are we not having a press conference today? You said on Friday we’d have a press conference?”
“We had a press conference,” Trump said. “We just had a press conference.”
Trump had not just held a press conference. That would involve answering journalist’s questions at more length than responding to shouted requests after a bill signing.
“Can we ask you more questions, then, sir?” Acosta asked.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, but I like real news, not fake news,” Trump responded. “You’re fake news. Thank you everybody.”
Acosta shouted as Trump left: “Haven’t you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir?”
Watch below via ABC News:
When asked why he didn’t condemn hate groups by name over the weekend, Pres. Trump says: “They’ve been condemned. They have been condemned” pic.twitter.com/2dIa0Hltps
— ABC News (@ABC) August 14, 2017