Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) attempted to use the Charlottesville “fine people hoax” to attack former President Donald Trump in a hearing on Wednesday — and was fact-checked on the spot by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
Lee repeated the false claim, repeated for years by Democrats and the media, that Trump had referred to violent neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 as “very fine people.” In fact, Trump said that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists should be “condemned totally.” (In referring to “very fine people on both sides,” he had been referring to non-violent demonstrators on either side of the issue of whether a Confederate statue should be removed from a local public park.
President Joe Biden made the hoax a core part of his presidential campaign — despite being informed it was untrue:Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News
The hoax has been publicly debunked several times — notably by then-Vice President Mike Pence during his debate with Kamala Harris in the 2020 election, and by Trump’s lawyers in the second Senate impeachment trial earlier this month.U.S. Senate
Lee, who chairs the U.S. House Judiciary Committe’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, tried to use the hoax in a hearing titled “The Rise of Domestic Terrorism in America.” She cited Charlottesville in attempting to attack what she called “attempts to equate white supremacy to anarchists, activists, and other groups who are opposed to white nationalism and other domestic terror.”
She added, referring to Charlottesville: “No, there are not good people on both sides.”
Biggs, who is the ranking member of the Republican minority, then rolled the tape.
House Judiciary Committee
He then concluded: “The point is, the previous president, the former president, Trump, called out neo-Nazis and white nationalists and said they should condemned. I think there’s no one in this room that would disagree with that statement.”
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). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent 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.