Speed Reads

violence in Charlottesville

Here's how the White House wants Republicans to defend Trump's latest Charlottesville comments

The White House sends Republican members of Congress a list of talking points every day, and Tuesday was no different, Molly Ball reports at The Atlantic. The notes from the White House communications office are supposed to get everyone in the GOP on the same page, and a GOP congressional aide sent Ball Tuesday evening's special talking points, aimed at defending Trump's comments at his press conference Tuesday. The memo begins: "The president was entirely correct — both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility."

Except for David Duke, alt-right organizer Richard Spencer, and maybe Fox News eminence gris Brit Hume, not many public figures applauded Trump's statements that neo-Nazis and white supremacists and their "very nice" allies did not shoulder all the blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, because the "alt-left" counter-protesters picked some fights, too. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) insisted that "there can be no moral ambiguity" that "white supremacy is repulsive," for example, and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) dropped the subtweeting, saying: "White supremacy, bigotry, & racism have absolutely no place in our society & no one — especially POTUS — should ever tolerate it."

Maybe they hadn't gotten the memo yet, or perhaps they disagree with Trump's equivocations. You can read the entire memo at The Atlantic, and if you want more information about what happened in Charlottesville, what its organizers had in mind, and who bears the blame for the death and violence, you can watch the chilling, sometimes NSFW documentary VICE News released earlier this week. Peter Weber