Donald Trump did not want to have to condemn white supremacists and Nazis, and he lashed out at the media when he was asked about belatedly doing so.
Donald Trump did not want to condemn the white supremacist terrorists who struck in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was dragged, kicking and screaming, to make a perfunctory statement tepidly doing so nearly 72 hours after the killing of Heather Heyer.
It was clear that Trump was unhappy about being forced to make a statement that stands in contradiction to everything he has ever stood for. He explicitly showed his anger when, after a signing ceremony later in the day, he was asked by reporters about the delayed reaction seen around the world.
Trump insisted that the hate groups "have been condemned." Then, when CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked Trump about holding a press conference on the issue, he returned to his childish taunt of the news network, saying, "You're fake news."
Acosta was the pool reporter in the room, and was asking Trump his question on behalf of the entire press corps, which has been kept in the dark about his administration. He wasn't just asking for a response on behalf of CNN.
Pres. Trump on why he did not denounce hate groups in initial comments on Charlottesville attack: "They have been condemned." pic.twitter.com/1S6PgUPnGK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 14, 2017
ACOSTA: Mr. President, can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?
TRUMP: They've been condemned. They have been condemned.
ACOSTA: And why are you not having a press conference today? You said on Friday you'd have a press conference.
TRUMP: We had a press conference. We just had a press conference.
ACOSTA: Can we ask you some more questions?
TRUMP: It doesn't bother me at all, but I like real news, not fake news. You're fake news.
Donald Trump has embraced racism wholeheartedly, and includes Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists within his administration. He has built his brand on opining and shooting off at the mouth on every conceivable issue under the sun, but only treads carefully when the racists wearing his campaign hats are the subject of scrutiny.
He clearly loathes having to issue even the slightest of criticisms of them, and it shows in his angry responses to being challenged on that measure. Trump leads this cause, and he does not want anything to get in the way of his favorable relationship with the worst of America.