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One more time: ‘Very fine people on both sides’

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Ms. Emily Blout is the wife of Mike Signer, a Jewish man who was the mayor of Charlottesville, Va., when the infamous and deadly riot of 2017 erupted in that city. She’s written a post for ToI, in which she deplores the fact that, after that violence, her husband was “the victim of a concerted disinformation campaign centered around his Jewish identity.”

Every fair-minded person would condemn the vicious antisemitic, racist online attacks made against Mr. Signer, and Ms. Blout is also obviously correct in condemning murderous attacks on synagogues, schools, etc. But, while making her case against dangerous, even deadly antisemitism and racism from the far right, she finds it necessary (how could she not?) to drag into the narrative one Donald J. Trump.

This is what she says about the former president, in the context of the Charlottesville violence: “You may remember, in the ash and rubble of that day, President Donald Trump’s shameful remarks about there being ‘very fine people on both sides’ of the rioting.”

I’m sorry but, even if there are a huge number of people who hugely disapprove of the former president, I just can’t let that comment slip by. As I’ve said (and demonstrated) many times before in this blog, it is flat out false that Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the rioting that occurred between white nationalists and those who were opposing racism. What he said was something entirely different: that there were “very fine people on both sides” of a controversy over whether Robert E. Lee’s name and statue should be removed from a public park in Charlottesville.

So, dear reader, here we go, one more time.

Trump used the now-historic phrase “very fine people on both sides” in a press conference. The video of the press conference is here. What follows is my transcript (which begins at 9:53 and runs to 13:14 in the video) of part of that conference. I would ask every........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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