The Corner

Politics & Policy

Yesterday Was Worse Than Saturday

It’s frequently said that at his press conference yesterday Trump reverted to his Saturday statement. This isn’t quite right, for a couple of reasons:

1) His Saturday statement was vague and didn’t condemn the Nazis et al. by name. In his press conference yesterday, he was specific in saying that some protestors on the alt-right side were fine people. This is much more objectionable than simply failing to name the malefactors on the right.

2) Saturday was easier to clean up. Trump could claim, as he basically did on Monday, that he had condemned the Nazis implicitly in his statement and was now elaborating and being more explicit. But cleaning up yesterday, if he were so inclined, would require backtracking and disavowing things that he affirmatively said.

3) Finally, it’s one thing to have two bites at the apple; it’s another to have four. Again, if Trump were inclined to return to this with yet another carefully written statement, no one would believe it given what he said off prompter yesterday after his prepared remarks on Monday.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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