President Trump's statement blaming "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Va., is a big topic in newspaper editorials, and Trump isn't getting much support. It's not a huge surprise that the editors at the New York Times are critical, but he's also taking flak from usually friendly sites such as the New York Post:
- New York Times: A scathing editorial castigates Trump for refusing to personally condemn white supremacists and to instead blame "many sides" for the violence. Trump, the editors write, is "alone in modern presidential history in his willingness to summon demons of bigotry and intolerance in service to himself."
- Wall Street Journal: Don't make this about Trump, the editors write. In the wake of the violence, Democrats seem to have a sole mission of using the "'white supremacist' cudgel against Trump—as if that is the end of the story." The editorial does fault Trump for failing to respond as a "unifying leader," but it says the focus on his words is a "cop-out because it lets everyone duck the deeper and growing problem of identity politics on the right and left."
- Washington Post: It takes a here's-what-Trump-should-have said approach and writes him a full statement. "Under whatever labels and using whatever code words—‘heritage,’ ‘tradition,’ ‘nationalism’—the idea that whites or any other ethnic, national or racial group is superior to another is not acceptable," it reads in part. "Americans should not excuse, and I as president will not countenance, fringe elements in our society who peddle such anti-American ideas."
- New York Post: The paper normally quick to take the president's side thinks he blew it. Trump faulted "many sides" for the violence, but "'many sides' didn't drive a car into a crowd, an evident act of terrorism," the editorial declares. National security adviser HR McMaster says of Trump that it's "clear in his mind" that this "terrorism" can't be tolerated. If so, Trump should "make it clear in his own words, too."
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