While Twitter spends an inordinate amount of time fact-checking and censoring President Donald J. Trump, it would behoove the social media company to take a closer look at Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s tweets.
On Wednesday, Biden shared an inaccurate account of Trump’s response to the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017.
Biden’s false take was widely spread by the establishment media three years ago, leaving many on the left still claiming that the president called white supremacists “very fine people.”
Three years ago today, white supremacists descended on Charlottesville with torches in hand and hate in their hearts. Our president said they were “very fine people.”
It was clear then, and it’s clear now: We are in a battle for the soul of our nation, and we must win.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 12, 2020
“Three years ago today, white supremacists descended on Charlottesville with torches in hand and hate in their hearts. Our president said they were ‘very fine people,'” Biden wrote.
One person was killed at the two-day rally, more than 30 were injured, and about a dozen arrests were made.
On Wednesday, Biden was quoting remarks Trump made during a White House press conference shortly after the rally.
In reality, when the president’s words on Charlottesville are put into context, they tell a much different story.
“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,” Trump said then. “You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
“And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”
When asked if he meant the media was treating white nationalists unfairly, Trump clarified that in no way was he complimenting any of the racist protesters.
“No, no. There were people in that rally — and I looked the night before — if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them,” Trump explained.
“But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest — because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So I only tell you this: There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country — a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country.”
Trump clearly condemned white nationalists and neo-Nazis multiple times in the same speech that Biden pulled his “very fine people” lie from.
Despite the unequivocal evidence from the White House transcript, Biden is far from the only one pushing this uniformed myth.
3 years ago tonight I watched this unfold as I recovered from a knee replacement and my son-in-law was deployed as a National Guard MP to Charlottesville. I have never been as scared for my kid as I was over these 2 days. These weren’t “very fine people.” #LincolnProject pic.twitter.com/08XgjPEnbt
— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) August 12, 2020
Heather Heyer was murdered three years ago today at the Charlottesville riots.
Days later, Donald Trump defended white supremacists there as “very fine people.”
Today we honor Heather’s memory and fight on. Hate will not win.
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) August 12, 2020
Three years ago, neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched thorough Charlottesville, and the next day killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Today we remember Heather, and we work to elect a President who understands the difference between neo-Nazis and “very fine people.”
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 11, 2020
When critics accuse the president of racism, the “very fine people” misquote often is the first piece of evidence cited.
In the full context however, there is little room for interpretation.
President Donald J. Trump “condemned totally” all of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists present during the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally.
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