Trump mum on Twitter after outcry over Charlottesville statement
President Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to push his political agenda, but none of his messages looked to clear up his vague Saturday statement that failed to condemn white supremacists at the center of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump’s working vacation at his suburban New Jersey private golf club has been dominated by tensions with North Korea and, more recently, violence in Virginia that lead to three people losing their lives, including one woman who was allegedly rammed by a car driven by a man who admired Adolf Hitler. Trump’s comments on the violence Saturday — he condemned actions “on many sides” — have been roundly criticized for what he didn’t say about white supremacists, the alt-right or Nazi sympathizers.
Since the statement, Trump has received vocal criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike but has entirely stayed mum as his aides looked to explain his silence. On Sunday, the usually loquacious Trump didn’t send a single message on Twitter.
Trump’s first message on Monday nodded to his brief trip to Washington:
“Heading to Washington this morning. Much work to do. Focus on trade and military. #MAGA.”
Trump then reiterated his endorsement for Sen. Luther Strange, the incumbent Alabama Republican who faces a possibly challenging Republican primary on Tuesday.
“Luther Strange of the Great State of Alabama has my endorsement. He is strong on Border & Wall, the military, tax cuts & law enforcement.”
Then, as he regularly does, Trump slammed Democrats on Capitol Hill, blaming them for “some of the worst trade deals in world history.”
“The Obstructionist Democrats have given us (or not fixed) some of the worst trade deals in World History. I am changing that fast!”
He then tweeted on drug prices: “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”
Trump’s statement was remarkable as Frazier, who is one of the country’s most prominent black corporate executives, said in his resignation announcement that he felt “a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy,” he said.
Trump’s silence on Sunday was notable for a man who regularly takes to Twitter to demonize anyone he feels has slighted him, including members of his own party.
Sunday, according to CNN’s record, was only the fourth day of the 207 since Trump entered the White House that he has not posted a message on Twitter. The other days were April 15, March 12 and June 8.
Trump’s account, @realdonaldtrump, did retweet four messages on Sunday, but not once did the President post a unique message of his own.
A series of White House aides on Sunday looked to explain Trump’s statement the day before. An unnamed White House official said Sunday that “of course” the President condemns “white supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups,” but declined to explain why the President wasn’t saying it himself.
Vice President Mike Pence later Sunday delivered a “no tolerance” message during brief comments in Cartagena, Colombia.
“We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis or the KKK,” said Pence, calling them “dangerous fringe groups.”