Journalists and reporters from establishment media reacted with horror to President Donald Trump’s Tuesday afternoon press conference in which he denounced media outlets for sensationalizing Saturday’s deadly attack at a Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacist rally.
In a press conference ostensibly called to discuss the president’s infrastructure plan, journalists badgered Trump with questions about his response to the attack in Charlottesville, during which one woman was killed and another 19 injured when a man deliberately drove his car into a crowd of protesters.
“There was no way of making a correct statement that early,” the president said of his initial response to the attack, which many observers characterized as insufficient condemnation of white supremacy and extremism. “Unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”
The president also lashed out at the media for its “inaccurate” reporting surrounding the incident, and said that blame for the violence at the protest belonged to “both sides.”
In response to the press conference, NBC’s Chuck Todd said he was “shaken” by what he had seen, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter.
"What I just saw gave me the wrong kind of chills. Honestly I'm a bit shaken by what I just heard, & I suspect it's not just me" —@ChuckTodd
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 15, 2017
Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer for The Atlantic, urged disaffected White House staffers not to leave their posts, and instead stay vigilant to look for evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
If you're a White House employee who is horrified by the president don't resign. Stay. Watch for evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.
— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) August 15, 2017
Reporters from across the establishment media weighed in with their own responses to Trump’s press conference. Below, find a sampling of their reaction:
Quite the chryon from CNN. pic.twitter.com/MSHfRNKnxT
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) August 15, 2017
Fact check: what happened in Charlottesville was very clearly started by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. https://t.co/8tCuyfDB6w
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 15, 2017
This isn't or shouldn't be a story about staff losing control. A POTUS shouldn't need to be micromanaged on what they might say about Nazis https://t.co/vWugkTKoPm
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) August 15, 2017
Smart of Trump to defend neo-Nazis to distract us from his possible Russian collusion.
— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) August 15, 2017
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 15, 2017
Upstairs from where Trump called some Mexicans rapists in kickoff speech, he as Potus declined to call murder of woman in Va terrorism
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 15, 2017
Trump equated tearing down the statues of Robt E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson equated with tearing down a statue of George Washington.
— (((JonathanWeisman))) (@jonathanweisman) August 15, 2017
Some "very fine" people who participated in a white supremacist, neo-Nazi rally chanting Nazi slogans. David Duke has already thanked him. https://t.co/5Az7oXmT1Q
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiPrzybyla) August 15, 2017
At least one person is praising Trump's comments https://t.co/1UOLWaPqNs
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) August 15, 2017
Recall Donald Trump used the birther lie, many would say skillfully, to raise his political profile & build a base over five years.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) August 15, 2017
A 62 character summary of the Trump presidency https://t.co/S8aiW1degW
— Zeeshan Aleem (@ZeeshanAleem) August 15, 2017
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum