Trump’s Stunning Response To The Charlottesville Protests

As Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in response to white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter:

Trump didn’t refer to Charlottesville in the tweet. He tweeted again 40 minutes later, after a backlash on social media. In both messages, the president made no mention of the groups behind the “Unite the Right” rally, which was organized to protest the removal of a confederate statue honoring Robert E. Lee.

The statement Saturday marks a sharp contrast to the president’s forceful denunciations of protests in other contexts—especially at his rallies. In those situations, he has often called protesters “criminals” and “thugs,” encouraged violence by his supporters, and dog-whistled to racism.