Adviser: Trump Didn’t Want To ‘Dignify’ White Supremacy By Condemning It

Andrew Harnik/AP

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert on Sunday claimed President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacists after violence broke out at a rally in Charlottesville was because he didn’t want to “dignify” the movement.

“The President not only condemned the violence, and stood up at a time and a moment when calm was necessary, and didn’t dignify the names of these groups of people, but rather addressed the fundamental issue,” Bossert said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump on Saturday did not remark on the nature of the rally but called the clashes an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” and called for Americans to “love each other.”

“What you need to focus on is the rest of his statement,” Bossert said.

He called Trump’s comments about love “a fundamental assault on the very nature of the hatred that we’re seeing here.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Bossert to give his own response to the violence.

“You on this show today have said that you condemn groups and condemn actions and condemn bigotry, but I haven’t heard you say, ‘I condemn white supremacists. I condemn neo-Nazis. I condemn the alt-right.’ I haven’t heard that,” he said.

“I think you’ve belabored it,” Bossert fired back. “So let me say, I condemn white supremacists and racists and white Nazi groups and all the other groups that espouse this kind of hatred and exclusion.”

Bossert’s claim that condemning white supremacy groups in those terms would “dignify” them rang hollow in light of Trump’s fixation on using one particular term for a different kind of violence.

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