Holman Jenkins, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, condemned the “slur” about President Donald Trump’s remarks in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia, riots in 2017, noting he never called neo-Nazis “fine people.”
In a Mar. 30 column about the Jussie Smollett case in Chicago, Jenkins noted that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel had referred to the false claim about Trump and Charlottesville in his public remarks about the Smollett case:
Mayor Emanuel on the radio Thursday, for some reason trying to discourage the feds from investigating the Chicago miscarriage, threw in a familiar slur about President Trump’s remarks after the Charlottesville riot. Never mind that Mr. Trump’s plain words have now found their way even into Wikipedia’s account. When he spoke of “fine people” on both sides of the argument about Confederate statues, he explicitly said, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.”
In an environment where even the media doesn’t always seem to care about truth, why shouldn’t Jussie Smollett, his family and his apparently broad support network hope his lie can prevail too?
As Breitbart News and other critics have pointed out repeatedly, Trump used the phrase “very fine people” to refer to protesters who came to Charlottesville solely to object to the removal of a Confederate statue, as well as to peaceful left-wing counter-demonstrators. He specifically excluded the neo-Nazis from “very fine people.”
CNN and other media outlets have continued to propagate false claims about what Trump said. CNN even edited video of Trump’s remarks deceptively to suggest he was referring to the neo-Nazis by splicing footage of his press conference with a clip from a Vice News/HBO documentary showing a white supremacist march in Charlottesville.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.