Republicans owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Biden for launching his presidential campaign on the oft-repeated lie that President Trump referred to neo-Nazis and white nationalists as “very fine people” in Charlottesville. “With those words,” Biden intoned, “the President of the United States drew a moral equivalence between those who were spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
Except he didn’t. On April 12, 2017, the very morning of the clash in Charlottesville, President Trump tweeted, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets [sic] come together as one!”
Later that afternoon, President Trump addressed the Charlottesville violence on camera. He insisted, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, many sides,” referring to weapon-wielding Antifa activists, who even the New York Timesadmits became violent in Charlottesville. “What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives,” Trump concluded.