Far-right activists clash with counter-protesters at the rally in Charlottesville [Joshua Roberts/Reuters]
The US president referred to “very fine people” on both sides of the divide.
Reacting to Trump’s latest statement, Andrew Anglin, administrator of now defunct neo-Nazi blog the Daily Stormer, praised Trump’s reaction with the anti-Semitic headline: “Trump Finally Gives Half-Assed Charlottesville Statement to Whining Jew Media”.
“I knew Trump was eventually going to be like eh, whatever,” Anglin wrote. “Trump only disavowed us at the point of a Jewish weapon. So I’m not disavowing him.”
Others also read Trump’s reaction as made out of political expedience rather than genuine ill-feeling.
Neo-Nazis on Twitter and the 4Chan forum celebrated what they saw as a coded message of support from Trump.
Right-wing leader Richard Spencer and former KKK leader David Duke also lavished praise on Trump.
Duke wrote on the social media platform: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty and courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa”.
“By saying he is not taking sides, Donald Trump clearly is. When David Duke and white supremacists cheer, you’re doing it very very wrong.”
Chuck Schumer, Democrat senator
LePage echoes Trump in blaming ‘both sides’ for Virginia violence
Do you agree with LePage that both the white supremacists and counter-protesters are responsible for last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville?
After remaining largely silent on the past weekend’s violence in Virginia, Gov. Paul LePage erupted Thursday on the radio, echoing President Donald Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville conflict, assigning equal blame to white supremacists and counter-protesters who showed up to oppose a rally against removing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
LePage said he “condemns both sides” of the uprising, adding they are “disgusting” and that “there’s no place for either of those groups in this country.”
On Wednesday, in the wake of Ku Klux Klan fliers reportedly being found in Boothbay Harbor, Bartlett said in a written statement that “actions like these are the direct result of leaders like Donald Trump, Paul LePage and Mary Mayhew who only embolden white supremacists by refusing to stand up and condemn their hateful actions and rhetoric.
“I would tell you right away how I would react,” LePage said. “All guns ahead, boys. Take them out … my first advice to the Maine people is don’t gather in these large crowds. It’s not safe… If you choose to go in and battle, I will not be timid.”
LePage has faced criticism for what some have called racially charged comments at several times during his tenure. In January 2016, he unleashed a firestorm when he used racial terms to describe Maine’s drug problem, saying that drug traffickers from Connecticut and New York come to Maine and impregnate girls who are “young” and “white” before leaving the state. In August 2016, he used similar framing when he made comments about black and Hispanic people coming to Maine to sell drugs.
LePage’s take on opposition to removing Confederate statues also mirrored Trump, who made a “slippery slope” argument that removing statues of Confederate leaders like Lee would result in a call for the removal of monuments to Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, because they owned slaves.
Let’s take down the statues of Washington (slave owner, war profiteer, horrid general) and Jefferson (slave owner, slave raper, war profiteer.)
PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.
It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.
On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.
The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.
Returning to our top story, President Trump on Thursday ramped up his threats of hitting North Korea with “fire and fury,” saying if the North were to carry out an attack on Guam, the U.S. would retaliate with military action, “the likes of which nobody has seen before.” This is President Trump speaking to reporters from inside his private golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
President Donald Trump: “And I think they—it’s the first time they’ve heard it like they heard it. And frankly, the people that were questioning that statement—was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries.”
North Korea responded in a statement calling Trump a “senile man who can’t think rationally.” The North also detailed its threat to strike Guam, saying it would launch four intermediate-range missiles into the waters off the U.S. territory.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Maine Governor Paul LePage over his practice of deleting comments and blocking people from his official Facebook page in order to censor dissent. The ACLU says, “Free speech must be protected from government censorship on Facebook just as is it in any other public forum.”
The Legislature is back in Augusta on Wednesday for what’s set to be the last official day of the 2017 session.
They’re mostly back to vote on overriding 27 vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage, including bills that would set long-term solar policy, increase Maine’s tobacco-buying age to 21 and prohibit handheld cellphone use while driving.
The New York Times reports that President Trump is being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan in a bid to exploit the country’s mineral wealth. The Times reports Trump discussed Afghanistan’s vast deposits of metals and rare earth elements with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and is reportedly considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials. A 2010 U.S. estimate found Afghanistan has mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion.