CLAIM: President Donald Trump “praised those racists” who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
VERDICT: FALSE. Trump condemned the racists “totally.” This is a debunked lie known as the “fine people hoax.”
Khizr Khan, one of the stars of the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC), appeared on the second night of the 2020 DNC to present Virginia’s delegate votes, and claimed that Trump “praised those racists” in Charlottesville.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has made this lie central to his campaign message from the very start.
President Trump repeatedly condemned the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville in August 2017 — “totally.”
Moreover, the neo-Nazis were not the only violent group in Charlottesville. The “clash” was not with those “standing against” hate peacefully, but with violent, black-clad Antifa extremists.
As to “very fine people,” Trump had been referring to peaceful protests both for and against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
He completely condemned the extremists — as the timeline and transcript confirm:
Aug. 12, 2017: Trump condemned “violence “on many sides” in Charlottesville, after neo-Nazi and Antifa clashes
Aug. 14, 2017: Trump condemned “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups” in White House statement
Aug. 15, 2017: Trump condemned neo-Nazis “totally,” praised non-violent protesters “on both sides” of statue debate
Khan lost a son fighting for the U.S. in Iraq and emerged as a prominent Democratic spokesman after the 2016 DNC.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.