tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC August 15, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
in case you missed it, you can watch the entire president trump news conference unfold. that's just ahead on the beat with ari melber which starts right now. if you haven't seen it, you won't believe what you hear. >> that's a fair statement. it's a significant event we're going to show. president trump giving his new and detailed view. he defended some attendees of this rally. he blamed some liberals for the violence and contradicted his own justice department. there are people trying to divide america right now with violence. here is the president's answer. >> you had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible. it was a horrible thing to watch. there is another side. there was a group on this side, you can call them the left.
you've just called them the left that came violently attacking the other group. you can say what you want but that's the way it is. i think there's blame on both sides. you look at both sides. i think there's blame on both sides. i have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. you had a lot of people there were there to innocently protest and very legally protest. i don't know if you know, they had a permit. they other group didn't have a permit. >> they had a permit. what message does that send to these white nationalists groups and people around the world? here's one answer. this is brand new tonight. former kkk leader david duke welcoming the president crediting his honesty and courage to tell the truth about charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists. president trump said it first. he didn't know david duke was at that rally, but he knows now. the president claimed tonight that not everyone was a white
nationalist at that white nationalist rally. >> i've don demonstrated neo-nazis. i've condemned many different gro groups in n groups. not all were neo-nazis. those people were there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. >> some facts for you on this. the justice department, under the trump administration, right now, is investigating charlottesville as a potential hate crime and potential terrorist activity. today, in these new remarks, president trump was not so sure. >> you can call it terrorism. you can call it murder. you can call it whatever you want. i would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. that's what i'd call it. there's a question. is it murder? is it terrorism? then you get into legal
semantics. the driver of the car is a murderer and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing. >> these remarks appeared to be unplanned and they were certainly significant. i think in a series of events that we have called significant in the trump era tonight's fit the bill. we're going to play those full remarks in full context later this hour. now, for immediate context and response, i want to bring in california congressman ted lu, heather mcgee. let me start with you. you look at this situation, what more do we understand now about the president's views of all this? >> i think that many people in the country, including the majority of people who did not vote for donald trump knew that from the beginning when he started his campaign calling mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, throughout the dog
whistle, the inciting of violence. in the good old days a protester would have been dragged out in stra stretcher. refusing to distance himself from the kkk. who he put in the white house has his staffers including three known white supremacists. we have felt this is a president who is a president of a movement to make america white again. that is obviously what the core base of his supporters who are on the rise right now, who have felt very embolden, who have felt this is a moment when this rising sort of zero sum idea of progress in the country. if you have progress for people of color, if you have more immigrants coming into the country that somehow that means it's going to be at the expense of white people. that idea is at the core of donald trump's story about this country and at the core of what you saw on friday and saturday
in charlottesville. i've been so moved by the out pouring of exactly the opposite impression of this country. that diversity is what makes our great. our people are what makes us strong. we all have to recognize that there are two sides of this story. there are two sides of the national story. one that says that the fight for the confederacy of white iss suprema supremacy, holding people in bondage is still something that needs to be elevated and celebrated and one that says that we have to keep growing as a country and finally face up to our past so that we can move together as one people into the future. >> congressman, you hear heather's very eloquent statement about what we just heard from the president of the united states. as the one who has to work with him in government, your view on what we heard and what it reflects days out from this killing. >> thank you, ari.
that was an abomination of the press conference. he's intentionally enabling white issue pr white supremacists. these are some of his strongest supporters but he shouldn't be playing to them. there's a side of hay thretred bigotry and there's everybody else. today we know where the president stands and that is completely unacceptable. >> thank you congressman. i hear your call. we often talk politically about what the other side should do. i want to add a former may i don't recall candidate in baltimore. i want to play for you donald
trump bringing up david duke in these remarks today. there were great questions about whether donald trump knew who david duke was. he said he was just ignorant although other video evidence proved he knew him. here was the president on that today. >> there was no way of making a correct statement that early. i had to see the facts. >> david duke was there. >> unlike a lot of reporters. i didn't know daifrvid duke was there. i wanted to see the facts. >> we know that white issue sup is ideology of hatred. when we hear speeches like this today we know he's making sure he's promoting these lies in an
effort to get people cover for white supremacy. that can't be okay. i'm worried this will enable more people across the country to be hateful and openly and boldly racist like we saw in charlottesville. >> the david duke comment here. we don't always make a habit of showing what david duke is saying. it is newsworthy. he responded tonight. thank you president trump for your honesty and courage to quote tell the truth about charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists in the blm, i think a reference to a group you're associated with, black lives matter. >> this is so overt. he's a known leader of the kkk. when he's praising the president for his remarks about race when he's defending white supremacy, that's a problem. i'm hopeful this does not encourage people to be more hateful and openly racists. these statements are turoubling at best. >> congressman, i want to play
the other charges the president levelled. the country has spent a few days not just the political part of the country but ceos, business leaders, civic leaders talking about what is the necessary requisite for a president. not something that, according to authorities was blurry. now i'm going to play this new sound, new remarks from the president trying to apportion the blame to what he calls the alt-left. >> what about the alt-left that came charging at the alt-right. do they have any semblance of guilt? let me ask you this. what about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs. do they have any problem? i think they do. you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. nobody wants to say that. i'll say it right now.
you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent. >> congressman, your response. >> keep in mind it was a white supremacists that killed a young woman, not the other way around. it is not equivalent to put the kkk and nazis against other groups. these are hate groups. these are groups that have terrorized americans throughout our history. the president needs to condemn them. by trying to say all sides are the same, he is enabling them. that's what's so disturbing them. this has got to stop. >> we're just getting into our news room a lot of reaction to the president's latest remarks. from what i can tell, a lot of folks here in political and civic leadership believe it's the worst thing he's said about this tragic incident. democratic governor of virginia
saiding quote neo-nazis klanmen came heavily armed looking for a fight. one of them murdered a woman in domestic terrorism. two of our finest officers were killed in tragic accident and here addressing the president he said this was not both sides. >> i think that's the kind of more clarity we need to see right now. i really do commend the governor and many other people, including some republicans finally who have been willing to stand up and say that this is evil. this leading cause of domestic terrorism on u.s. soil is from white supremacists fringe groups. the inability of donald trump to distance himself really it's shocking to our political system and our economic system and to
the moral fabric of our country. it shouldn't be surprising because this is who he has been from the beginning of his campaign. from the moment he walked into public life by being the most visible and loud birther. far right conspiracy theory to undermine the citizenship of our first african-american president. this question is now who are we as americans. who are the people in congress who have the only authority to stop this person who is in the white house from continuing to -- i'm afraid really bring the country to the brink of a level of violence that we haven't seen from white supremacists who feel they are losing their country and that is exactly what donald trump is saying do them, has been saying throughout his campaign. you're losing your country. you have to take it back. men with ar-15 and ak-47 were
armed in charlottesville for that reason. >> we're reeling from a situation where this killing took place. the authorities will determine whether they can uphold the second-degree murder charge. a new tweet from paul ryan. we must be clear. white supremacy is repulsive. the bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. there can be no moral basic amb. i want to add in howard dean. i would like your vus aiews, an i'll throw one more piece of reporting. nbc confirms from a senior white
house official that these remarks were not supposed to be part of any q and a today. that is relevant not because of the political gamesmanship that goes up to setting up a press event because it goes back to the big question of whether we're hearing the real donald trump. >> i'm not entirely sure there is a real donald trump. i think this guy is deeply ill. i really do. he's completely out of control. he has no consistency from one day to another. we're ka we're a country without a president. i think we'll rise to the occasion. it's a very difficult situation. this is not a guy who understands anything about people. it's not a guy who understands anything about the foreign policy. this is a problem. this is the first time probably since andrew johnson that we really haven't had any kind of a capable president.
>> congressman, do you echo that or do you think part of the problem is president trump seems to no no boundaries. i believe we have in our control room some of the footage and the photograph of the general john kelly who is expected to be some sort of source of discipline but has not yet been that way. there's a photo of him behind the stage during what was supposed to be there. there it is him with his arms folded, if you want to read the body language, you can read it f for yourself at home whether he looks like something this is the right call. ka congressman, is this a managerial issue or do you think the president to double down on what he sees as an equivalence between the people who perpetrated violence and those peaceful or victims, is this something that hobbles the president? >> every now and then we see glimpses of the real donald trump when he's not being constrained by his handlers such
as today and when he tweets by himself. it's horrifying. we can tell him views are much closer to nazis and the kkk and white supremacists than to every day normal americans. john kelly can do all he wants but when donald trump goes unhinged, the american people see who he really is. we can keep shuffling staff around at the white house. it's not going to change because the president is at the very top. that's with the president. he hope he changes. i don't think that's going to happen. what's going on is deeply disturbing. >> thank you for joining us. ahead, president trump's comments on these confederate statues and how he dug in and seemed to draw moral equivalence between thomas jefferson and leaders of the confederacy. we have a historical perspect e perspective. if you missed it, we are going to show for confection the
remarks from the president here. a turning point in his reaction to this what many have called domestic terror. you're watching the beat on msnbc. liberty mutual stood with me when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate. i just snapped a photo and got an estimate in 24 hours. my insurance company definitely doesn't have that... you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™ liberty mutual insurance. a penny it's ourr back to school one cent event at office depot office max. notebooks! one cent!
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president trump spoke today with new and probably his most extensive comments on the controversial statues devoted to a confederate leader that ignited the protests. it was charlottesville official city plan to remove this statue that drew white supremacists to that city. it was at the statue where they carried on friday carrying those infamous torches before marching through the university of virginia campus. >> you had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, to them, a very
important statue and renaming of mar park. you had a lot of people there to innocently protest. i don't know if you know, they had a permit. the other group didn't have a permit. >> they may have had a permit to gather. they did not have a permit to kill. it was extraordinary here just moments ago watching president trump saying that some of those marchers were there to innocently protest when we know what happened. then he took this argument further delving deeper into the academic debate about this history or historical revisionism. he brought up the founding fathers and their role this american history. >> many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. this week it's robert e. lee. i notice that stonewall jackson is coming down. i wonder is it george washington next week and is it thomas jefferson the week after. you really do have to ask yourself where does it stop.
george washington was a slave owner. was george washington a slave owner. will george washington now lose his status. are we going to take down -- excuse me. are we going to take down statues to george washington? how about thomas jefferson? what do you think of thomas jefferson? do you like him? >> i love him be. >> he was major slave owner. are we going to take down his? it's fine. you're changing history. you're changing culture. >> changing culture. that was where donald trump's presentation landed on today. igniting controversies all of this is significant because these fights over history are not about the past. they are also about the future. they don't appear to be going away. with me is the new yorker cobb who has written about charlottesville and the former may mayoral candidate of baltimore. when you hear this president go
down that road of saying that, to him, robert e. lee is maybe like george washington and a few days out of these deaths his focus is on the statues and not the real people. the people who lost their lives in america this week. what do you think? >> first off i don't think this is donald trump's thinking. he's never been someone who displayed a great deal of interest in history. i think this is a conversation, i don't know who it is that is in his ear. he doesn't even express the ability to countenance that maybe slavery should tarnish the representations of these individuals. my colleague just put out a book recently about george washington's pursuit of a run away slave. a woman he pursued for all of his life to try to prevent her from gaining her freedom. we should take that into
account. we just had this conversation about monticello. the very real explanation that is required to say someone cannot be both a slave and a mistress. mistress implies a level of c consent, an agency denied a person enslaved. these are real, significant issues in american history. he's not talking about history. he's talking to those forces that feel they have been m maligned. they have been sideline ed or lt out. they are not interested in the historical past. they are interested in trying to use that for basis for their brief empowerment right now. >> you mention this history as a tool for today's politics. we took a look along with other researchers that when a lot of these went up. it's been pointed out these are not sort of original civil war era statues in the sense of
being historical. you look at 91 going in that period of the zifcivil rights organizing. this is about the past but it's being pushed by people in the south today who didn't live through that history. >> we know that symbols of hate encourage hate. we know these symbols represent an idea of supremacy of whiteness. who is trump speaking to? he's seeking to a base that likes his lies and take his lies for boldness. we know they are not true. this is not about changing history. this is about choosing what we celebrate. >> when you look at some of the these scenes that we saw, it is typical in american life when you see something like this to worry about what it reflects because it's real. every one of those people is doing that and yet to take some solace in the unity that comes out of it. when is the last time you can think of where we had something
this bad exposed and not even have political leadership, civic leadership able to unyou unite t it. >> it takes us to the pre-civil rights era. i was talking today about how in the 1930s african-american leadership came to franklin roosevelt said we need you to take a stand against lynching and he said i can't do this because it will alienate white southerners. we have to go that far back. we thought we had to reached a point where these sentiments are universally elect preponderance of the evidence. within eight months of him taking office we have now questioning this. the only fitting response would be if five living presidents that nazism is contrary to
american values. it's like it's something we have to go back to asserting. >> there has to be reaction to this action and the president going farther than he did all weekend in the moral, ethical and honestly criminal equivalency that he tried to draw between what authorities have said are victims and the perp raetrators in this act. thank you both for joining our covera coverage. a picture does say a thousands words. this is one we will continue to look at today. the new chief of staff of donald trump's presidency taking in that speech. those unplanned remarks. we have it for you after the break. what's that?
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chief of staff john kelly sworn in just 15 days ago with one overriding objective and the chaos. how can he do that if the chaos comes from the very top? there he was taking in this unusual set of remarks. with me now is man who does understand donald trump. michael, i want to extend the opportunity for you to weigh in. >> it was an infrastructure press conference. i don't think the white house got the headlines they wanted, obviously. i think they were hoping to get the message out, a very important message out about infrastructure and they're not going to get it out today. however, like i said, before, i think the president has spoken out against bigotry. he's named every single racist
group that was possibly on site in charlottesville. anybody who wasn't satisfied with what the president said on saturday or what the president said on monday was not going to like anything the president had to say today. i'm not surprised by the reaction. knowing donald trump and how he wants to run his own show, i'm not surprised he stood there to take questions. >> do you think he was wrong to so inaccurately suggest that the peaceful protesters were responsible for the violence? that's not what local authorities, law enforcement of the justice department have said. >> no. in fact, they have said there were violence happening on both sides. reporters on the ground during the altercation from other networks and not just the president's favorite network were saying that the violence was coming from both sides. the police in charlottesville have said there was violent actors on both sides. i understand it's hard to hear that when such a racist and incredibly terrible group were
having a protest that ended up in a terrorist attack that killed a woman. i know it's hard to hear that. there was violence coming from both sides. what the president said is accurate. if that inflames people, i understand. the president has never been shy about speaking the truth when it's controversial. >> governor dean. >> i think this is a guy with no moral compass. he's not the real president. i didn't think he try to clean his mess up on monday. this is just ridiculous. it's really stupid and silly. real presidents don't do this. whether there was some violence on both sides, one side was nazi, racist, hates jew, black people, immigrants. this is a significant portion of our country. this is not the president for those people and not the president for me.
he's not the president for me. he has no ability to govern him or think about what's good for the country. he only thinks about himself. >> mr. caputo, the john kelly piece of this, is he having any influence? >> i believe so. the people i know in the white house say things are operating much smoother. there's a very evident chain of the command. i think you have seen some of the evidence of his hard work up until this point. i think that reflected probably general kelly's signature caution. i also think donald trump's very clear statement about all aspects of white nationalism,
white sum ppremacy, kkk, very clear, condemnation of those groups by name on monday was a reflection of general kelly's leadership as well. what you saw today, might have been donald trump going off script. i think it clearly was. if you're expecting donald trump to be predictable like all other presidents and politicians are, you're always going to be disappointed. >> we welcome all views and appreciate yours as well as governor dean's today. appreciate it. another important story. americans are debating the fall out from political violence in charlottesville. the trump administration is putting pressure on demonstrators with a new sweeping demand for the personal information of about 1.3 million computer users according to a technology company. the tech company fighting this request said it's suspicious and kill american's rights to speak out against trump. it begins with this website. disrupt j 20.org.
using blockades and marches to stop traffic in washington. the d.o.j. got involved because of saecenes like this. about 230 people were arrested in d.c. for that. searches of those defendants are typically justified. that's 230 people. the company hosting that disrupt website says the trump administration is demanding records on 1 million people. their ceo is asking a judge to reject the request as unreasonable violation of the first amendment that would hand the trump doj personal info on millions of political dissidents of the current administration include whag they re-- includin
they read online. critics say in the wrong hands this insttel could be weaponize melding a nixon's enemy list with big data. the d.o.j. is defepnding this request in court. the next round was scheduled for friday. this friday in district court but we just learned late today that has been delayed as well. this big important hearing. the fight is being led by dream host founder. dallas, as a company it's easier to just comply with these kind
of requests from the trump administration. why are you launching this public fight? >> fst easier to comply. when the customer is coming with our data, our customers trust us. this one was much broader than anything we have seen before. >> you think they want to do with what your million plus visitors to this site? >> that's not how we're thinking about it. it doesn't matter what they want to do. it's just the fact that these people who come to the website, they expect a certain amount of privacy. we believe online privacy is a critical issue for the internet to function properly. >> how do you view this kind of search and is this an issue on a week we're tauking about the rights of protesters and the role of government? >> ari, it's first and foremost
even more a search issue, it's a first amendment issue. it's a freedom of association issue. it's a freedom of speech issue. you're talking about a massive zen searchable list about your e-mail, credit card, what you read, how you read it. that's the core problem. that includes, as you mentioned when you started naacp versus alabama. you look at a segregationists alabama trying to expose this and see who is doing this in order to chill the association. imagine today it were a clinton administration asking for readers of breitbart in order to find out who might have read and how they would have been influenced there would have been outrage. what you get is capitol hilling.
you get this massive search of over a million records that only a tiny portion is usable. then you're supposed to trust the government that it will only search those that are very narrowly appropriate. >> that get the big data list or the potential enemy's list. they get that. dallas i'm going to read from a trump add visor who said it's great our enemies are makie ini themselves clear so when we get into the white house we know where we stand. mr. trump has a long memory and we're keeping a list. you said you don't know what they're going to do it with. if you lose, do you intend to comply with the order? are you worried about what would happen to these millions of visitors to this website? >> we're not an activism group. we do comply with laws.
we will continue to do everything we can within our legal rights. >> appreciate you both joining us. >> thank you. now back to the president's q and a late today. this was where he made very extensive comments about the protests in charlottesville that are garnering tremendous reaction which we have featured some of which on our show tonight. this was probably a pretty remarkable moment in donald trump's presidency. we're now going to play it for you in full. >> i didn't wait long. i didn't wait long. i wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what i said was correct. not make a quick statement. the statement i made on saturday, the first statement was a fine statement. you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. it takes a little while to get the facts. you still don't know the facts.
it's a very, very important process to me. i don't want to go quickly and make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. i want to know the facts. i brought it. i brought it. as i said saturday we disagree in the strongest terms. it has no place in america. here is the thing. excuse me. take it nice and easy. here's the thing. when i make a statement i like to be correct. i want the facts. this event just happened. in fact, a lot of the event didn't happen yet as we were speaking. this event just happened. before i make a statement, i need the facts. i don't want to rush into a statement. making the statement when i made
it was excellent. the young woman, who i hear is a fantastic young woman, and it was on nbc. her mother wrote me and said through, i guess twitter, social media, the nicest things. i hear she was a fine, really an incredible young woman. her mother thanked me for what i said. if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what i said is very nice. unlike you and unlike the media, before i make a statement i like to know the facts. they don't. how about a couple of infrastructure questions. >> was that terrorism? >> the ceo of walmart said you missed a critical opportunity to
bring the country together. did you? >> not at all. you take a look, i've created over a million jobs since i'm president. the country is booming. the stock market is setting records. we have the highest employment numbers we had in the history of our country. we have the highest levels of enthusiasm. the head of walmart, who i know, was making a political statement. i do it the same way. i want to make sure when i make a statement that the statement is correct. there was no way, it was no way of making a correct statement that early. i had to see the facts unlike lot of reporters, unlike a lot of reporters. >> nazis were there. >> i didn't know david duke was there. i wanted to see the facts. the facts as they started coming out were very well stated. everybody said his statement was
beautiful. if he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. i couldn't have made it sooner because i didn't know all of the facts. frank frankly, people still don't know all the facts. it was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly. if i would have made a fast statement and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing. the second statement was made after with knowledge, with great knowledge. there's still things that people don't know. i want to make a statement with knowledge. i want to know the facts. >> was this terrorism and can you tell us how you're feeling about your chief strategist? >> the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and this country. you can call it terrorism. you can call it murder. you can call it whatever you
want. i would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. that's what i'd call it. there is a question. is it murder? is it terrorism? then you get into legal semantics. the driver of the car is a murderer and what he did was a horrible, horrible inexcusable thing. >> can you tell us what you're feeling about your chief strategist. >> i never spoke to mr. bannon about it. i like him. he's a friend of mine. he came on very late. i went through 17 senator, governors. i won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on much later than that. i like him. hooets he's a good man. he's not racist. he's a good person. he gets an aunfair press in tha
regard. he's a good person. >> do you have confidence in him? he said -- >> you mean senator mccain who voted against us getting good health care. >> he said that the alt-right is behind these attacks and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in charlottesville. >> i don't know. i can't tell you. i'm sure he must know what he's talking about. when you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me. define it for me. >> senator mccain defined it as -- >> what about the alt-left that came charging at the alt-right. do they have any semblance of
guilt? what about the fact that came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs. do they have any problem? i think they do. as far as i'm concerned that was a horrible, horrible day. wait a minute. i'm not finished. i'm not fin iishfinished, fake . >> the same level that. >> i will tell you something. i watched those very closely. much more closely than you people watched it. you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group that was very violent. nobody wants to say that. you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent. >> the left is the same as
neo-nazis? >> those people, all of those people -- i've condemned neo-nazis. i'm condemned many different groups but not all of those people were neo-nazis. not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. when you take a look at some of the groups and you see and know it if you're honest reporters, which in many cases you're not, but many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. this week it's robert e. lee. i notice that stonewall jackson can coming down. i wonder is it george washington the next week and is it thomas jefferson the week after. you have to ask yourself where does it stop. they were there to protest the
taking down of the statue of robert e. lee infrastructure question. >> statues of robert e. lee stay up? >> i would say that's up to a local town, community or the federal government depending government, depending on where it is located. >> do you think things have gotten worse or better? >> i think they've gotten better or -- look. they've been frayed for a long time. you can ask bropresident obama about that. he would make speeches about it. i believe the fact i brought in, it will be millions of jobs. you see companies are moving back into the country. i think that will have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. we have companies coming back into our country. we have two car companies who just announced, fox con in wisconsin that just announced. we have many companies, i say pouring back into the country. that i think will have a huge,
positive impact on race relations. do you know why? it's jobs. people want jobs. they want great jobs with good pay. when they have that, you watch how race relations will be. and i'll tell you, we're spending a lot of money on the inner cities. we're doing far more than anybody has done with respect to the inner cities. it is a priority to me. >> are you putting what you're calling the alt left and the white supremacists on the same plain? >> you had a group on one side and at the other and they came at even other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible. it was a horrible thing to watch. but there is another side. there was a group on this side. you can call them the left. you just called them the left. that came violently attack the other group. so you can say what you want but that's the way it is. >> you said there was hatred on
both sides? >> i do think there's blame, yes. on both sides. you look at both sides. i think there's blame on both sides. and i have no doubt about it. and you don't have any doubt about it either. and, and if you reported it accurately, you would say that. >> neo-nazis started this. >> excuse me. and you had some very bad people in that group. but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. you had people in that group, excuse me, excuse me. i saw the same pictures you did. you had people in that group that were there to protest. taking down to them a very, very important statue. and the renaming of a park from robert e. lee to another name. george washington was a slave owner. was george washington a slave owner? so will george washington now
lose his status? are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to george washington? how about thomas jefferson? what do you think of thomas jefferson? do you like him? okay, good. he was a major slave owner. are we going to take down his statue? so do you know what? it's fine. you're changing history, you're changing culture and you had people, i'm not talking about the neo-nazis and the white nationalists. they should be condemned totally. but you had many people other than neo-nazis and white nationalists. and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. now, in the other group also, you had some fine people. but you also had troublemakers. you see them come with the black outfits, and with the helmets and the baseball bats. you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too. >> i'm sorry, did you stay press has treated white nationalists
unfairly? >> no, no. there were people in that rally. and i looked the night before. if you look, they 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 bust you had a lot of people there who were there legally to protest. 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. >> have you spoken to the family of the victim? >> i'll be receiving out. i'll be reaching out. i thought that the statement put
out, the mother's statement i thought was a beautiful statement. i must tell you, it was something that i really appreciated. i thought it was terrific. and really, under the kind of stress that she's under and the heart make she's under, i thought putting out that statement to me was really something i won't forget. thank you very much. >> president trump's unplanned remarks there, we just heard. joining me, larry kudlow. you look at the entire sweep of the comments, the report we were getting was this was not the white house plan. this was president going rogue, according the one white house official. what did we learn? >> nothing we wouldn't have already known if we paid attention. this is who donald trump has been. especially people in new york a remember him going back to the central park five days, that he's had this kind of belligerent and truculent attitude and troubling ideas about race for a really long
time. i think maybe the mask slipped a little bit today and he felt that he was going to reverse himself. maybe he felt compromised by having given the statement that he made, that people praised, thought it was the right thing to do. and i don't know what the possible upside of this is other than personal gratification and thinking that he has shown people that they can't push him around or force him to make morally decent statements. >> look, i don't think trump got it done saturday. i think he should have specifically focused on what happened. and that came from these crazy right wingers, whoever they are, david duke types, kkk. i think he should have focused on that saturday. i think the statement yesterday was very good. and it covered a lot of good ground. and today, i think he's perhaps gone too far. president trump, if you hit him, he hits back.
perhaps now this will ends and he can get on with the business of growing the economy. i will tell you this. perhaps you will suspend belief. i've known him for a long time. i don't always agree with him. but i don't believe there's a hate bone in his body. i do not believe it. >> you have the luxury of not believing that. other people who are subject other, people in conditions, where they have to wonder or not, they're having flashbacks, a church of black people being surrounded by white men carrying torches don't have the luxury of thinking that donald trump is somehow or other this great guy who happened to make a state. >> trump was not part of any of that. and in his construction -- >> but he defended it. >> i don't think that's fair or correct. >> praised by faint damnation. >> a lot of people will not forgive him. i understand that perfectly
well. and there's nothing i can do to change that. >> i think your opinion is very relevant because of your experience and knowledge of him. let me ask another way. when we see disconnected incidents of violence, we often hear calls for an entire community out of the blue to say, well, because they go to this house of worship, they now all have to condemn this act of violence. this was much closer. what he seemed the come out and do today was not only dilute the condemnation but say that a white supremacist rally, not all the people were white supremacists. is it good for the country to go gown road? >> what he should have done saturday is he should have had a broad based heart felt unifying statement. that's what he should have done. he didn't get it done saturday. he didn't get it done sunday or. today i will acknowledge that.
i haven't watched the press conference in every aspect. i agree, we are americans. we should be united. we should make common cause with each other. and i don't think trump disagrees with that. but i think this thing now has gotten out of hand. a lot of people will not forgive trump. i still maintain whatever errors he makes, remember, he's still a rookie politician. there's not a hate bone in his body. >> we have 30 seconds to "hardball." >> you have a rookie politician who is the president of the united states. and there's a moral accountability that goes with that office. if he wasn't ready for that, maybe he shouldn't have run in the first place. >> i think he does assume responsibility. he's trying the correct his mistakes. he'll straighten this out. look, he was very clear during the primaries of his hatred for david duke and that like. okay, more work has to be done. >> you know the business. i have to hand it to "hardball."
i appreciate you and all our guests dealing with a difficult subject. as we like the say, we're all in this together. that's "the beat." thank you for watching. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. david duke says thank you, mr. president! let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. this afternoon, donald trump looked into the mirror and made a decision. should i be presidential? act and speak the way others want me to be? or should i be me? well, me won the battle. the man we saw this afternoon was the man elected last november, the man who is now our president. like him, trust him, hate him, fear him, that's your call. he is going to be 100% donald trump.