UPDATED with video: “Today President Trump made a speech denouncing Neo Nazis and the KKK, but people were upset because he waited 48 hours to do it,” Conan O’Brien said Monday, joining the chorus of late-night hosts blasting Trump’s reaction to the violent Charlottesville rally staged by the hate groups.
“When asked what took so long, Trump said, ‘I watch Fox News, so I didn’t know anything happened. No one at the country club seemed upset.'”
This weekend, President Trump told the country, “We have to love each other.” Then he said, “You know, until a younger, hotter country comes along.”
Conan’s guest, Sen. Al Franken noted the weekend violence started when white supremacists decided to come to Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. “We have to remember, what the statue was about is slavery. That’s what the confederacy was about,” Franken explained.
The neo-Nazis and white supremacists “came wearing helmets and bringing clubs, and the violence started…and this driver, who has been charged, injured 20 and killed this lovely young woman and it is unbelievably sad,” Franken said. “And President Trump, instead of condemning the white supremacists, just went out and said, ‘I condemn all violence from everybody’.”
“And I thought that was horrible – and it was very him,” Franken scoffed.
Franken said he did not know why Trump did not condemn the hate groups behind the rally until today, speculating “he thinks they’re part of his base.” The senator said he was “very pleased that a number of my Republican colleagues” blasted Trump’s reaction.
“This is not America, not who we are,” Franken said of Trump’s initial statement, adding, “I have trouble with this president.”