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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  August 16, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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they do think roy moore is the candidate they want to run against. thank you so much for explaining all that being with us on the night shift tonight. for all of us, that is our broadcast for what is just tuesday evening. thank you for being here with i think there's blame on both sides. i think there's blame on both sides. >> the president off script and off the rails. >> what about the alt left that came charging as you say at the alt right? do they have any semblance of guilt? >> defending the rally in charlottesville. >> you had many people other than neo-nazis and white nationalists. >> standing up for the rallygoers. >> you had some very bad people in that group. but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. >> blaming protest theors.
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>> you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent. >> supporting confederate monuments. this week it is robert e. lee. i wonder, is iter george washington and thomas jefferson next? >> using talking points -- >> you're changing history, you're changing culture. you define alt right. >> all in starts right now. good evening from new york. today president of the united states remind think us who he is. despite all the handlers and the personnel changes. after an attempt at damage control on saturday, today according to a senior white house official, donald trump went rogue. stunning his advisers. he dropped the pretenses and when what started as a press
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attempt about infrastructure quickly devolved into something else entirely. as trump veered off his talking points and engaged in a rant like nothing we've sfraeb a president. defending white nationalists and saying those who opposed they will were equally to blal for the violence. violence that left one person dead at the hands of a neo-nazi support here has been charged with ramming his van into a crowd. >> you look at both sides. i think there's blame at both sides. 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. >> in his extraordinary defense of people who have been universally condemned for the violence in charlottesville, trump trotted out the old, there's blame to go around. >> what about the alt left who came charging at the alt right? do they have any semblance of
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guilt? 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. you had a group without a permit and they were very, very violent. >> while trump did denounce the driver of the car that killed 32-year-old heather heyer, calling him a disgrace to the country and his family, he defended many of the groups. even seeming to identify with their cause. >> i've condemned neo-nazis. i've condemned many different groups but not all of those people were neo-nazis. not all were white supremacists.
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>> they were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. this week it's robert e. lee. i noticed stone wall jackson is coming down. is i george washington next week and thomas jefferson the week after? we do have to ask, where does it stop? you're changing history. i'm not talking about the flee over nazis and the white supremacists. but there were many others. >> and wait, there's more. this is how the president of the united states described the events of friday night. when white nationalists holding tiki torches marched. >> there were people in that rally. if you look, there were people protesting, very quietly. he the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee.
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>> now, trump play seen a group of people protesting quietly but what is the the rest of us saw. [ chanting ] >> the president's performance today left the political world in utter shock and apparently his aides as well. lawmakers in both parties were rushing to distance themselves. but former kkk grand wizard david duke was delighted, tweeting, thank you, president trump, for your honesty and courage to tell the truth about charlottesville and condemn leftist terrorists. joining me, the author of tears we cannot stop.
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thank you both for being here. i'll start with you, dr. dyson. your response to this press conference today? >> it is one of the most reprehensible performance of any president he not only in modern history but in the history of the nation. there have been racists in the white house before. andrew sgraks the president admires, or woodrow wilson, with the sheen and patina notwithstanding. this was a depth that we have not plumed. you had the fusion of remarkable and remorsement and a relentless upon truth on the other. and the refusal to acknowledge in the anti-semitic, anti-black, anti-america moment was the most reprehensible display that a president could easily disavow
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costly say, this is not who we are. this is not what represents us best. not only did he double down, this president went out of his way not tonight embrace the alt right but the ideology that has fueled so many in the administration in terms of their voting for him. and literally in terms of mr. bannon, mr. miller and others. so i think what we saw here was, unfortunately, and tragically, the reflection of a man who has long since lost his moral compass. is incapable of leading us politically, and has been to the shame and derision of conservatives like him. or other republicans who deemed it going forward.
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to the very nation that he is the president of. this is a low moment in the history. >> and the alt right. >> trump is the president, he has the administration he wants. he is the president and it would be better for the country if there were more responsible people hemming in, preventing him from doing more damage than he will otherwise do. but he has done damage the last four or five days. there are many other officials in the united states, who can speak with moral authority. there are huge numbers who can and must speak up.
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i think we have to say from now on, certainly from now on, the president won't bring us together, unfortunately. it doesn't mean that others can do it and others have to do it. he is going to be president for some period of time from now on. i am depressed. for republicans, my wife susan kristol had an excellent tweet about this. she is not a big tweeter but this was a very, very good point she made. it is now time for every gop officer to come out against donald trump. it is not enough to just dedry kkk and nazis. and i do believe that having watched it today. two or three years ago, fine. you denounce them, you don't want the support with. the president having said what
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he said today, i think it is really important for people in his party, the huge majority supported him in the election. have met with him and been seen in public events. it is really important for them to say, not just, i don't approve of the kkk. but to say, i disavow what president trump said today and i have no problems with his leadership. it doesn't mean they have to leave the republican party but they need to be explicit of their disavowel of trump. >> you saw general kelly looking down at this event. a few people have tweeted that people of conscience in this administration should resign. are you among those who believe that people like general kelly should leave the administration? >> not necessarily. i think people, especially, he is a very unique white house chief of staff. jim mattis, it has to prevent, i
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don't mean to minimize what has happened in the last few days, but we will overcome that. we have a lot of people here can provide leadership. he is the president. so in terms of couldn't foreign policy, i would feel a lot more comfortable with mcmattis. john kelly might feel as a matter of xongs he'll have to quit. knowing what he's been able to do, what he's been able to prevent, whether he can still do that job conscientiously. they have to make decision. i'm not willing to say that no decent person should stay. >> at this point, democrats can do nothing to stop this
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president or contain him. >> she can't be feckless or spineless, they have to be articulate. they have to put forth policy alternatives. they have to keep up the pressure to make certain they don't go, oh, my god. ring their hands. they have to raise with serious issue, the issues not only have how we can encourage them but people across the aisle. this is unamerican. this is not about party. this is been left or right. this is not about the alt left or right. this is what they ought to do. the moral imperative. they have to go back to their
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home states and ten and then organize. joining me now, reverend tracy of justice and witness ministries. she was one of the counterprotesters in charlottesville. shaw for joining me, reverend blackman. we spoke first friday night when you were inside of a church on the grounds in the university of virginia. donald trump said the night before the saturday melee, there were good people who were quietly marching in charlottesville. and he was talking about the white nationalist protesters. you were inside that church. did you hear people quietly marching? >> thank you for having me on, joy. no. i say these words the utmost seriousness.
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i rarely use these words. but they apply here. donald trump is lying. and here's the deal. he spends more time on twitter than he spends anywhere else. and what was happening friday night was being live streamed. i am telling you that we were in a church having a worship service. at no point in that service was there even a protest. it was a multifaith worship service in a standing room only capacity filled church with children with mothers, with elderly, with people my age, in the middle and with young people. we were worshipping. and close to the end of our worship service, we received the message that we cannot leave the church because a mob was
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approaching the church with torches. they were chanting blood -- they were chanting, you will not replace us. they were chanting, jews will not replace us. they were chanting white lives matter. and for over 30 minutes, we were not allowed to leave the church. when we were finally allowed to leave, we could not go out the front door for fear that we would be assaulted. we were ushered out the side door, and the back, into alleys this is america in 2017. and i would not have believed it, when we were trying to do an interview. i'm from birmingham, alabama. this is not the first time i've
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seen klan rallies. it is not the first time i've seen klan parades. but when i tell you that we got in a car to leave and had to drive through this mob which was then on the sidewalks, and not in the street. when i tell that you i wept as i saw people who had exchanged sheets for polos and oxfords, many of them were wearing the make america great baseball cap, holding baseball bats in one arm and torches in the other. it is unconscionable that this president would suggest that that was a deserved thing that happened this weekend. >> and as chilling as that is, the next day then was pretty violent. this was the time that i was retaliating to talk to you during the weekend show. i want to play you what donald trump had to say about the people who were there protesting
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the removal of the statue on saturday. take a listen. >> you had a lot of people that were there to innocently protest, and legally protest. i don't know if you know. they had a permit. the other group didn't have a permit. >> and his event was about reducing the permitting. that's ironic. he said the people this your group, the counterprotesting group wrrgs violent toward alt right protesters and set upon them with clubs. and other implements. >> again, donald trump is lying. i am telling that you yes, they had a permit to the park. they didn't have a permit to harm people. they didn't have a permit to throw full bottles of water and full cans of soda and splatter urine on people who did not agree with them.
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their permit did not cover that, joy. and i would like to ask mr. trump, he's had time now to make three different responses to this incident. has he even taken a moment to call the family of heather? and offer condolences on behalf of this nation? has he taken a moment to consider the 20 people who were hurt and offer the sympathy of this nation? this is not will a leader. this is not a leader. and i am ashamed of what is happening in the highest office. >> and lastly, reverend, describe to us, who was in your group. donald trump has described your group and the protesters, the counterprotesters as equivalent to the neo-nazis and white nationalists. >> that's very interesting.
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this was a faith-based led group. largely clergy. all people of faith. different faiths, jews, muslims, christians. there indeed were some people who didn't profess any faith in that way but just had a moral consciousness that said to them, it is not okay for people to deskroenld a city. a city where the majority of residents were. >> reporter: the descendants of the enslaved. it is not okay for they will to descend upon this city and to wreak terror. we knew this was going to be violent because we had the flyers, the promotional flyers, that these group that's already sent out. there were flyers calling for a race war. flyers saying we're coming to take our country back. are you kidding me? and this president wants to talk
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about revising history? read some history. black people built this country. >> and we know there were some black lives matter, in your view as a witness to these events, were the anti-fascist groups perpetrating the violence or were they the victims of the violence? >> no, they were not. as a matter of fact, there were some clergy standing on the steps to the entrance of the park. they were not in the park. they were at the entrance singing this little light of mine. the neo-nazis burst through with shields and began to beat them and trample they will. the ones donald trump is calling terrorists were there to save their lives because the police were standing down. they saved their lives. >> wow, thank you.
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>> thank you. you were a witness to both the saturday and saturday events in charlottesville. thank you for your time tonight. the president's stunning defense of the alt right after this two-minute break. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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that's why at comcast we're continuing to make our services more reliable than ever. like technology that can update itself. an advanced fiber-network infrustructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home.
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and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. i like mr. bannon. he is not a racist, i can tell you that. we'll see what happens with mr. bannon. he is a good person. and i think the press treats him very unfairly. >> among the questions that donald trump fielded during this remarkable performance at trump tower today. it was about the fate of his senior adviser, steve ban orange and the home for the alt right that he fostered on breitbart.com. >> he said that the alt right is behind these attacks. and he link that had same group to those who perpetrated the attack in charlottesville.
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>> well, i can't tell you. i'll sure senator mccain must know what he's talking about. when you say the alt right, define it for me. you define it. >> what we do know after today's bizarre press conference, donald trump doesn't really need bright b.a.r.t. or bannon or anyone else to recite by heart the talking points of the alt right including on monuments and culture. >> how about thomas jefferson? what do you think about thomas jefferson? do you like him? are we going to take down statue? he was a major slave owner. are we taking that down? it's fine. you're changing history. you're changing culture. >> joining me now, leon wolf, managing editor of the blaze. one of the more extraordinary moments in this press conference was when donald trump essentially equated george washington and thomas jefferson to robert e. lee and other civil war generals.
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i mean, that's something that i have heard and seen tweeted at me by the alt right. was he adopting an alt right view? >> i've heard a lot of people say that. i'm frustrated when people don't view historical figures within the historical context. if you go back a few years, you won't find that. >> including lincoln. >> you're right. he said some things about black people that would have made him totally unelectable today. they were different people. i don't mean to excuse george washington for having slaves or after the war one of his primary objectives was rounding they will up and sending they will back to the plantation. i don't like that about george washington but it is different for george washington and the
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importance of his, toal figure, as opposed to people like robert e. lee who were general in addition war they lost. it is not generally common to convenient trait military leaders of failed rebellions. i've lived in the south for 26 years. i'll never get over the confederate statues and i don't understand why they're in the public square. if we want to move to a place that recognizes the history of this, graveyards or whatever, that's fine. i don't like to see they will in the public square. >> do people that you talk to in the conservative world dorgs they get origin of these he statues was in a pretty he dark period of history, the woodrow wilson era, when the back lash of reconstruction was reaching its apex. do people know that? >> that's part of it.
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the statues were erected a long time after the civil war. that period coincidentally happened 50 years later. and there were 150-year demonstrations. i would not like kindly upon the idea of erecting a statue for the founder of the kkk. i understand that he later repudiated those views but for me, as a person who lives in the south, there's plenty of people who i would much rather see erected statues to. people like faulkner, martin luther king. let's have statues of those people. that's the idea. >> i want to play quickly, steve bannon are at cpac. >> i think the center core of what we believe, that we're a nation with an economy, not an economy, just in some global marketplace.
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but we're a nation with a culture and a, and a reason for being. and i think that's what unites us. i think that will unite this movement going forward. >> after hearing donald trump today, would you say that he himself is a member of the alt right? he trucks with alt right ideology? >> i don't know that donald trump believes. of anything. i would say that mostly, he understands that they're people that he needs or wants on his side politically. he is definitely willing to dog whistle. they understand the winks and the nods. they understand they can't openly come out and say these people are great. the thing like the 48-hour delay. it is both sides. that's exactly what they understand. they hear from that, here is someone on my side. >> yeah. leon wolff, thank you very much. appreciate your time.
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next, the confederate statue that started it all. and the calling for a removal of a confederate statue just ahead.
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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 noticed stonewall jackson is coming down. i wonder, is it george washington next week and thomas jefferson the week after? you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? >> should the statue stay up?
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>> i would say that's up to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending on where it is located. >> donald trump is apparently unaware that the reason the grab bag of neo-nazis because because they decided to remove the statue of robert e. lee. they voted to move the statue. they want to sell it. there's a pending lawsuit challenging the right to do so. since this weekend's violent protests which left a 32-year-old woman dead, lawmakers in other states are making efforts to get rid of confederate statues. writing on saturday, tend tragic events today accelerated the announcement intended to make next week. while baltimore's mayor released a statement yesterday announcing
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her intention to move forward with the removal of baltimore city's confederate statues. it is easier said than done. particularly when we have a please suggestions the confederacy and all that it stood for, terrorizing people solely based on the color of their skin, is nothing to be ashamed of. >> 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. george washington was a shave owner. was george washington a slave owner? so will george washington now lose his status? are we going to take down, excuse me, are we going to take down statues? how about thomas jefferson? what do you think of thomas jefferson? do you like him? he was a major slave owner. >> joining me now, the member of the national board of directors of the naacp, and by phone,
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georgia state representative stacy abrams, candidate for georgia, who received hate tweets after calling for the removal of monuments. there are 718 monday utilities, ten major u.s. military bases named in honor of confederate military leaders. is that about heritage or something else? some some of this history, people are misappropriating. somebody said you can't challenge what you are unless you really repent. let's talk about the charlottesville monument. 80% of these monuments were erected between 1898 and 1920. they were erected to celebrate the deconstruction of reconstruction. they were erected to celebrate
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the separate but equal decision. in 1915, woodrow wilson kicked out civil rights leaders from his office. 1916, he played birth of a nation in the oval office. and that sent word to white supremacist that's they had a friend in the oval office. and that statue was commission in the 1917. it was commissioned to celebrate the deconstruction of reconstruction. the rolling back of the rights. it was not so much the civil war but to celebrate. and woodrow wilson sent that signal from the white house, the statue was put up. during the period from 1915 to 1922, more african-americans were lynched and killed, and more riots than any time in this nation's history. so when white supremacists go to that particular statue, they're saying, we are celebrating that we have a sympathizer in the white house. who endorses our policies like
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rolling back voting rights, like rolling back affirmative action. like deporting immigrants, like islamaphobia. that's the reason he you go to charlottesville. these were raised during a particular period of time and we have to know history to understand the strategy behind richard painter and the other folks. >> let's talk about what you're doing in georgia, stacey, representative abrams. you're supporting the idea of renuclear stone mountain confederate memorial carving. and you've gotten a response. you got one hate tweet. someone sent you a tweet saying, another crispy.
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clean up your black community first. that's the kind of response that you've gotten. is that emblematic to the idea that you've gotten for removing this stone mountain memorial? >> i've been incredibly gratified by the number of tweets and e-mails that i've received. smorting the idea. georgia has a very long history not tied to confederacy. the brothers who resurrected the kkk in georgia at this site in 1915 deeded the land in 1916 to the united daughters of the confederacy. and it took another 20 or something years to carve the monument. then they gave it to the state. so this is not a function of grand history. this was a monument to segregation, a monument to domestic terrorism, a monday tumt racism. over the years, georgia has grappled with this.
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we've taken steps of removing the confederate flag as our state flag. we have the leadership in the legislature and myself. we will soon have the stature of mlk on the capitol grounds. as a candidate for governor, the person elected to be our leader refuses to admit that white prem supremacy and domestic terrorism should not be part of who we are, it renews the call to reexamine every statue we erect, every memorial we hold up. these are not memorials that teach us history. they teach us myths. the myth that this is somehow convenient rating the alfredsson h confederacy. through jim crow, into today. and there's no right thinking person who should object to the
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removal of the statuary. especially a bass relief, the largest in the world, of domestic terrorism that threatened to tear this nation apart. >> you're running for governor of georgia. i saw in your tweet feed people saying i will not vote for you if you're trying the take down these monuments. do you think your stance will negatively affect your run for governor? >> i don't care. a glib answer but a very real answer. if do you things only because they are popular, then we miss opportunities to do what's right what is right, especially in this moment, when a woman has lost her life. people are terrified. not because of charlottesville but because of the deaths of so many. because of the fear being fomented by an ersatz president who does not condemn bigotry and
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racism in our country. we have a chance for every person in public office, hasson obligation to speak truth and demand what's right. and in this case, it is the removal of those monuments. i will say this other piece. i want to give great credit to the managers of stone mountain park. they've done an excellent job of trying contextualize and turn the park into a museum. and that has happened over the last few years. but the problem with that is, unless you have the head phones on, unless you're walking through with the intention of learning, all you see is a giant monument to racism. that cannot stand. >> and in light of donald trump's press conference today, a really extraordinary display in which he took side of the people who marched to stave robert e. lee statue in charlottesville, what did you make of it? and what should republican dozen in response in your view? >> well, first of all, donald trump's press conference today.
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he has shown us he is a sympathizer for hate and racism. these statues treatment mythology of racism but the truth about manager. it was when woodrow wilson rolled back the desegregation laws, and lifted up white supremacy that these statues, 80% were raised on that period of time. we have to be careful. there are some moments would condemn to death. they will say i'm not an extremist who will drive a car through a crowd of people but they will not condemn the policies. what we have to do is line up the policy ts of these white nationalist groups. where do they stand on voting rights? on immigration? and then as politicians, where do you stand? if you stand politically and in policy the same place that they stand on policy, then you are engaging in the emboldenment of them.
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that's why they're happy now. they believe it is not just about statues. bits policy. and they believe they have a policy sympathizer throughout the federal government that can destroy and undermine the progress that has helped us move closer to one nation under all. this is bigger than statues. a lot of people will condemn. i heard paul cruz, ryan condemn. have they held tim way they fixed the voting rights go abbott? that's white supremacy. have they condemned way they targeted our immigrants. it is in line with the policy position of the white nationalists. we're going to have to bring that out as well. otherwise, we'll have what james bald win calls sentimentiality. a match for cruelty.
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thank you for joining us. ahead, presidential historians will join me.
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some of the folks that will leave, they're leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside. and i've been lecturing they will, including the gentleman that you're referring to, about, you have to bring it back to there country. >> moments after trump slammed the executive who had already left his council after initial response to charlottesville and moments after he offered his bizarre defense, two more councilmembers quit. the head of the afl-cio along
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with four more deputy chief of staff announced, we cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism. even before today's bizarre press conference, the ceos who weren't part of trump's council felt compelled to speak out. the chief executive of walmart saying, we, too, felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists. the reaction from inside trump's own party, coming up next.
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you have some very bad people in that group. but you also have people that were very fine people. on both sides. >> the president's statements on white supremacists in charlottesville, prompted a variety of responses from his own party. senator marco rubio treated, these groups today use the same symbols and arguments of nazi and kkk groups responsible for some of the worst crimes against americans. you cannot allow white supremacists to share matter of blame. jerry moran wrote, white supremacy, bigotry and racism has no place in your society and no one, including potus should ever tolerate it. one quoted the president's own
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words at him tweeting very fine people do not participate in rallies with groups chanting racist slogans and displaying vile symbols of hate. but the top three republicans in the house who all released statements condemning white supremacy did not address the president directly. joining me you, presidential historian. john, you wrote a book about thomas jefferson. your thoughts on the president of the united states today equating robert e. lee and other generals with jefferson and washington. >> well monuments often tell us as much about their maker as they do about the people being memorialized. and i think you have to look at the context of a given time when a monument, when something was erected. the jefferson memorial, for instance, was a pet project of
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franklin roosevelt's who wanted a democratic monument to stand against the lincoln memorial which he thought of as a republican one. she dedicated it in 1943 and tried to appropriate jefferson's language for the struggle given the current subject, the struggle against nazi tyranny. washington and jefferson are flawed people. they are people. they are imperfect heros in many ways and they have to be judged in the fullness of their character. they should not be mindlessly celebrated but nor should they be mindlessly condemned. washington and jefferson were nation builders. general lee and his officers were in fact trader to the american union that washington and jefferson created. i think that's the central distinction. >> to stay with you for a moment, there have been lots of republicans coming out, a mentor of senator rubio saying blaming both sides for charlottesville,
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no. back to relativism, just no. and one for charlie dent, said potus must stop the moral supremacy. is this ignorance of history on donald trump's part or is it a window into something more insidious? >> i think it's good phrase. i think it is a window into something for insidious. you know what he reminded me of this afternoon, although the accent was different. an old southern governor in the '50s and '60s talking about outside agitators coming down, that they were the real problem. and just because he speaks with a queens accent on fifth avenue doesn't mean he's not representing the same kind of difficult and just the worst part of the american tradition. he talked about -- to try to make this morally equivalent i think is reprehensible.
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and it distracts us from the central point, which is we have a cultural and political climate, an economic climate in which it's somehow acceptable and attract tiff for a number of people to march in the streets carrying the symbols of the third right. what does that tell us about what we have to do as a country. >> indeed. and charlie, paul ryan, the speaker of the house, he tweeted out today, we must be clear, white supremacy is repulsive. this bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. there can be no moral ambiguity to which you replied, i'll try not to cuss on tv. what were you getting at there? >> say his name. don't tell me that white supremacy is bad. i know that. tell me that you're a republican leader who finds your president reprehensible. that will be news to me.
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that will make me feel better as a citizen. i have to say, though, that, you know, i guess, you know, john must be delighted as a historian because he gets to relive in real time all of the great political debates of the 1950s. he's going to be webster replying any day now. >> it's a great analogy. i was thinking of the great rhetoric of that time period. it tells us something. we all know the history but it's worth going through again. quickly by the way, president trump had a tale today. remember he talked about we're trying to change history and culture. that was a tale. he's not just talking about the chronological facts of history. he's talking about what those facts have come to mean to an important part of his base. i live in the south, i'm from the south, i grew up on a civil war battlefield. the neo-confederacy has always been code for a reaction to
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broad important cultural shifts in racial, cultural and economic ways. and that's what he's speaking to. >> yeah. >> he needs to defend a culture that is ultimately fearful and that's the thing we have to worry about. >> charlie, the alt-right traffics in that kind of language too. they talk about culture. >> sure. and i think john is absolutely right. that was not a dog whistle. that was an air raid siren basically. and i think he's also right in the fact that there is a germ of a really healthy debate here where we, after many many years, finally reevaluate the civil war in our history in light of the advances of the civil rights movement. i noticed today that the governor of maryland, larry hogan is going to move a statue of roger ton any who wrote the trade scott decision off of the state grounds there. i think cooper said he was
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thinking of moving the confederate monuments. if you move the monuments, you have to discuss why. and the debate of why we're moving the monuments is a healthy one. the problem is they've been hijacked by a president, they need a tranquilizer gun at this point. >> those who look at the presidency with a certain awe and reverence at least up to node. bill crystal talked about containment for this president. containing him like we did the soviet union. what will it mean to have a presidentless country, a country where a president cannot provide moral leadership. is it a permanent damage to the office, do you think? >> i like to think that the institutions that were created 230 augusts ago, the framers were locked up in philadelphia. they had shut the windows so that there couldn't be reports
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and leaks so that they could do something -- here's a remarkable thing to a remarkable point in our culture. so they could change their minds. so that reason could play a role in their deliberations. take a stand early in the convention and if they heard arguments that god forbid might change their mind, they could do so and not be publicly embarrassed. the battle between reason and passion is one of the most fundamental struggles in all of human affairs but certainly in the american experiment. the presidency developed in ways they couldn't have imagined. i don't think it's permanently damaged. what i worry about most is so much of our governance requires people to credit what a president says, to actually believe what he says and to give him a certain benefit of the doubt. it's very hard and it gets harder, not just day to day but my god hour to hour for that to happen.
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we have allies who are deeply skeptical, we have enemies who are watching this, i think, with great interest and hopefulness. and you hope the institution is strong enough and i think we all have to work for that as we go forward. >> and charlie, to you for republicans who are afraid to fully distance themselves from donald trump for fear of electoral disaster, what would you say to them? >> well, i would say that do the moral thing and distance yourselves. i don't know electorally given the way the country has been jerry mannered if some of them would play a political price. but i think if they're patriots to their country and they have moral compasses that still point north, distance yourself from this guy because this guy needs to be distanced from. that's the simple calculation. i was just rewatching burns civil war thing and there's a great point at the end when
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barbara fields come on and concludes that the civil war could be lost in many ways nap's where we are at this point right now. >> very poignant way to end it. thank you guys for you time. that's "all in" for this evening. tonight president trump stuns members of his own staff with a combative and highly inflammatory news conference repeating his belief both sides were to blame for the violet protests in charlottesville, making no distinction between nazis and those protesting against them. his words brought condemnation across the country from both parties. a thank you from the kkk grand wizard of david duke. the 1 isth hour on a tuesday night begins now. good evening once again from our nbc headquarters here in new york. day 207 of the trump administration was truly unlike

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