Summer Concepcion

Summer Concepcion is the front page editor of Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Previously, she covered the 2016 presidential election for Fusion and worked as a researcher at The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She's an LA native and former Chicago transplant. Reach her at

Articles by Summer

Four days after the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city’s mayor has yet to receive a call from President Trump, according to a report.

“He was supposed to call me on Saturday,” Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer told VICE News. “I heard word from an aide right when it was happening, and I didn’t hear from him. They said, ‘Do you want to talk to him?’ And I said, ‘I’d be happy to.’”

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

On Monday, Signer said he is “kind of finished talking about the President” for not taking a harder stance against hate groups following the attack at a rally where a self-proclaimed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors, leaving three dead and dozens injured.

Signer also slammed the President on Sunday for what he called the Trump campaign’s “intentional courting” of white supremacist groups.

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In the aftermath of the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, 32 members of Congress filed a resolution on Tuesday urging President Trump to fire white supremacists in the White House.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced the resolution demanding Trump to “strongly condemn white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups responsible for the violence” and “remove from the White House and the Trump administration individuals, including Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka, who support white supremacists.”

“When the president fails to swiftly condemn white supremacist terrorism, it’s imperative that Congress steps up and says clearly: Hate is not welcome, hate is un-American and we will strongly resist hate wherever it appears,” Jayapal said in a statement. “White supremacy must be uprooted from our society, but the president has elevated white nationalists to the highest posts of government. It’s time to get these people out of the White House.”

Trump came under fire for initially failing to condemn white supremacists and other hate groups by name in the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend. On Monday evening, Trump complained on Twitter that the “fake news media will never be truly satisfied” by his belated denunciation.

On Tuesday morning, four minority House caucus groups asked Trump in a letter to remove Bannon, Miller and Gorka from his administration.

Read the full text of the resolution here.

The resolution is co-sponsored by 31 members of Congress:

Reps. Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Adam Smith (WA-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Andre Carson (IN-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Bill Foster (IL-11), Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-11), John Delaney (MD-06), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Don Beyer (VA-08), Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) and Al Lawson (FL-05).

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President Donald Trump’s approval rating hit an all-time low amid violent clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend, according to Gallup‘s daily polling average released Monday.

According to Gallup, 34 percent Americans said they approve of Trump’s performance in office, while 61 percent disapprove.

Trump’s lowest approval rating yet comes after just 207 days in office.

Gallup arrives at its approval numbers by averaging the previous three days of polling. Monday’s percentages come from responses made August 11-13, during and following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Gallup’s most recent poll was released shortly after Trump finally condemned the “white supremacists and other hate groups” responsible for planning the Charlottesville rally.

Gallup tracks the percentage of Americans who approve and disapprove of the President’s performance in office every day, based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,500 national adults, according to the company. The poll’s margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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President Trump said he condemns hate “on many sides” after violent clashes at a white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia left one dead and at least 19 injured.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said in a brief statement. “It has been going on for a long time in our country – not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

In his remarks, Trump failed to mention the white nationalists who planned the rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.

“What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives,” Trump said. “No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time.”

Trump said he spoke with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and they “agreed that the hate and division must stop.” McAuliffe declared a state of emergency after hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other at the rally.

He concluded his statement by saying, “We have to heal the wounds of our country.”

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that “there is no place for this kind of violence in America.”

Minutes before Trump spoke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement saying he “stands united behind the President condemning the violence in Charlottesville.”


However, several Republican senators have come forward in criticizing the President for not calling out the rally’s organizers as white supremacists.

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President Trump tweeted there is “no place for this kind of violence” amid reports of violent clashes at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency after hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other at the rally. Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler organized the Saturday rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.

First Lady Melania Trump also tweeted just minutes before the President’s initial response.

Ironically, Trump’s history of calling for violence is well-known, despite his claims to the contrary.

Trump is currently at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending a 17-day working vacation.

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During a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said the event is in line with President Trump’s “promises.”

“This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back,” Duke said. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler organized the Saturday rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency in response.

Duke never shied away from his support for Trump since the Republican primary in 2016, in which Trump also came under fire for not initially disavowing the former KKK leader’s endorsement.

Previously, Duke served one term as a Louisiana state representative. Duke’s most recent foray into politics involved a failed run for the Louisiana Senate.

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Following North Korea’s threat this week to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles towards Guam, President Trump spoke with the U.S. territory’s governor over the phone on Friday.

“Mr. President, as the governor of Guam … and as an American citizen, I have never felt more safe or confident with you at the helm,” Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo (R) said to Trump in a video posted to his Facebook page.

I just got off the phone with Chief of Staff General John Kelly and with the President of the United States of America. They called me from the White House this morning and both assured me that the people of Guam are safe. In the President's words they are behind us "1000 percent."As the head of the Government of Guam, I appreciate their reassurances that my family, my friends, everyone on this island, are all safe. God Bless the people of Guam and God Bless the United States of America.

Posted by Eddie Baza Calvo on Friday, August 11, 2017

“Don’t worry about a thing,” Trump said in response. “They should have had me eight years ago.”

Trump went on to say Calvo will become “extremely famous” in light of Guam making headlines lately.

“I have to say, Eddie, you’re going to become extremely famous,” Trump said, with Calvo chuckling in the background. “All over the world they’re talking about Guam and they’re talking about you.”

Trump also praised the possibility of rising tourism in Guam.

“And your tourism, I can say this, your tourism is going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you,” Trump said. “It looks beautiful, you know I’m watching…it’s such a big story in the news. It just looks like a beautiful place.”

When Trump told Calvo he seems like a “hell of a guy,” Calvo responded by saying he wishes “there would be less partisanship” and this is a time when “everyone should be unifying behind our president.”

The call came just hours after Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “will regret it fast” if he continues his threats to U.S. territories and allies. Trump tweeted earlier on Friday morning that the U.S. military has solutions “fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

Guam residents have displayed growing concerns over being in the middle of tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Guam’s Office of Civil Defense began distributing fact sheets on Friday to help residents prepare for the possibility of a missile attack.

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The White House confirmed President Trump declined Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s phone call request on Friday amid growing political and social turmoil in the country.

“Since the start of this Administration, President Trump has asked that Maduro respect Venezuela’s constitution, hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, cease all human rights violations, and stop oppressing Venezuela’s great people,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. ‘The Maduro regime has refused to heed this call, which has been echoed around the region and the world. Instead Maduro has chosen the path of dictatorship.”

The statement also said the US is in solidarity with Venezuelans and Trump will speak to Maduro when “democracy is restored.”

‘The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime,” Sanders said. “President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country.”

The statement came shortly after Trump told reporters that all options remain on the table in response to anti-democratic actions in Venezuela, including military intervention.

The Trump administration has already placed sanctions on Venezuela in the wake of a crackdown on opposition leaders.

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While visiting Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on Thursday, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said that despite President Trump’s intended transgender military ban, “any patriot” should be allowed to serve.

“We will process and take direction on a policy that will be developed by the secretary (with) direction from the President — and march out smartly,” Spencer told reporters, according to The Daily Press. “As I said before, on a fundamental basis, any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military.”

Spencer was confirmed a week after Trump’s tweets on his plans to ban transgender people from serving in the military, a move that would reverse an Obama-era policy allowing transgender individuals to serve openly.

Spencer’s comments came as Trump said he is “doing the military a great favor” with the intended ban. Earlier this week, five active-duty service members filed a lawsuit against Trump claiming his directive violates the Equal Protection component of the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment.

Spencer isn’t the only one at odds with Trump, as the President has come under fire from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and the Coast Guard.

A Quinnipiac poll released last week found a majority of American voters believe transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.

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Amid growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, two key aides to Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley have resigned.

Haley tweeted on Wednesday night that Communications Director Jonathan Wachtel and Chief Of Staff Steven Groves were leaving due to “family concerns.”

Two people with contacts inside the U.S. Mission to the United Nations confirmed the resignations to Politico, although an exact date for when the resignations will take effect is unclear. The resignations were first reported by journalist Laura Rozen.

Before joining Haley’s staff, Groves served as a research fellow at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, while Wachtel reported on the UN for Fox News.

Politico also reported that “despite his conservative bona fides, Groves never really broke into Haley’s inner circle.” Groves argued for the U.S. to end relations with the UN Human Rights Council over its criticism of Israel and should pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Haley recently oversaw the passage of a UN Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program.

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