The editorial board of The New York Times has torn the hide off president Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Trump is alone in modern presidential history in his willingness to summon demons of bigotry and intolerance in service to himself. He began his political career on a lie about President Barack Obama’s citizenship and has failed to firmly condemn the words and deeds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan leaders and other bigots who rallied behind him. A number of these people, including David Duke, the former Klan imperial wizard, and Richard Spencer, self-styled theorist of the alt-right, were part of the amen chorus of bigots in Charlottesville.
“We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” said Mr. Duke, whose support Mr. Trump has only reluctantly disavowed in the past. “That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”
Mr. Trump’s fear of naming the source of Saturday’s violence sharply contrasts with his eagerness to call out Islamist terror.
All day on Sunday, Mr. Trump remained silent, as H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, and Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose jobs are to understand and combat hate-based threats, covered for him on the television news shows. Ivanka Trump, her father’s senior adviser and self-proclaimed moderating force, issued a single tweet of protest.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis,” she wrote on Sunday, apparently blind to her father’s accommodation of those forces.
One aide not heard from was Steve Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, whose nationalist theories and Breitbart dog whistles helped summon the rage on display in Charlottesville.
On Sunday, the White House issued, anonymously, another weak statement, saying that the president’s words on Saturday “of course” included “white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.”
Meanwhile a handful of congressional Republicans have condemned the hate on display in Charlottesville, and in our politics. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said of white supremacists, “We don’t want them in our base, they shouldn’t be in a base, we shouldn’t call them part of a base.”
But Mr. Trump does, and in his desperation to rescue his failing presidency, he again clung to them.
Paul Krugman, meanwhile, used his column today to denounce Trump as a blatant white supremist.
"Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn the murderous white supremacists in Charlottesville finally confirms what has become increasingly obvious: The current president of the United States isn’t a real American."