Donald Trump gave what was unquestionably the most depraved, unhinged, and abysmal press conference of his presidency on Tuesday afternoon.
Trump was supposed to be talking about infrastructure, but he was immediately peppered with questions about his attempt to write off this weekend’s white power riot and domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville, VA, as a case of violence between “many sides.”
Things got bad immediately. And then they got much, much worse.
First, Trump insisted his decision to wait 48 hours to condemn neo-Nazis came out of an abundance of caution, because he likes to make statements that are correct.
“I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters,” Trump insisted, despite that rarely having prevented him from tweeting out his initial, vile thoughts in other instances of suspected terrorism.
Then he refused to personally deem the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer at the alleged hands of white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. an act of terror, insisting that while “you” can call it terrorism, or murder, but he’d rather call it “the fastest one to come up with a good verdict,” whatever that means.
He also blamed the “alt-left,” a wholly imaginary group created as a sort of moral-equivalent boogeyman by both white nationalists and some liberals to create a sense of parity between a racist movement and efforts by normal non-racists to shut them down.
“What about the fact that they came charging – they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.” Trump said.
The president also insisted that, nestled within the crowd of neo-Nazis and white supremacists were some pretty nice folks, who were merely protesting in defense of a Confederate statue, which he painted as a perfectly decent thing to do, rather than an explicit defense of slavery and white supremacy.
“You had some very bad people in that group,” Trump said, “but you also had people that were very fine people — on both sides.”
Also, Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson? Just as bad as the Confederate generals.
“What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him?” Trump rhetorically asked the press pool. “Are we gonna take down the statue—’cause he was a major slave owner. Now are we gonna take down his statue?” (Leave it to Trump to stumble into a woke take.)
Finally, as a friendly reminder to a nation reeling from the 1-2 punch of a domestic terrorist attack allegedly perpetrated by a neo-Nazi sympathizer, and a president who seems constitutionally incapable of voluntarily condemning racist violence, Trump ended his conference by reminding people that, yes, he owns some property.
Because if there’s one thing the public needs to know, it’s that the president’s house in Charlottesville “is the winery.”
One huge fan? David Duke, of course.
You can watch the entire, monstrous thing below:
We are so, so, desperately screwed.
What was the part of Trump’s press conference that made you feel the biggest combination of insanity and despair? Let us know in the comments.
This is a developing story and will be updated.