Hollywood Stunned by Trump's Lashing Out at "Alt-Left"
Jake Tapper summed up what many who tuned into President Donald Trump's press conference on Tuesday were thinking. "Wow. Wow," the CNN anchor said, sharing his immediate take-away at the end of Trump's rambling televised address about this weekend's clashes in Charlottesville, Va.
Speaking from his Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president backtracked on his Monday statement on the deadly rally, again placing blame for the violence on "both sides."
"What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? ... I think they do," Trump said, appearing on the defensive.
After facing criticism over the weekend for his initial response, in which he failed to denounce the hate groups of the rally by name, Trump did call out the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists on Monday as "repugnant" and "criminals and thugs." One day after the condemnation, however, the president was mired in a series of misfire retweets on Tuesday morning and then went on the offensive during the later address.
Trump attacked the media, calling the reporters in attendance "fake news," and, when discussing the protests over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, asked if statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be removed as well: "George Washington was a slave owner, so will George Washington now lose his statues? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? Because he was a major slave owner."
Many viewers who took to social media were left stunned by the remarks, with those in the political and Hollywood realms largely at a rare loss for words.
Chris Licht, executive producer of CBS' The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, tweeted plainly: "Monologue. Blown. Up. Again. Good thing @colbertlateshow team is used to this."
ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted that he hadn't seen anything so crazy since "Tyson bit Holyfield."
All of late-night TV got their chance to take Trump to task for his response to Charlottesville on Monday night, and the reactions signal Tuesday night will follow suit. See some of the rejoinders below.
I haven't seen anything that crazy since Tyson bit Holyfield @realDonaldTrump— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) August 15, 2017
Watch this whole thing. https://t.co/Dyb0Ykujai— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 15, 2017
The 25th Ammendment today. pic.twitter.com/HXf2mv38EL— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 15, 2017
The President of the United States just made it clear, in case anyone was still unsure, that he is in fact a racist.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) August 15, 2017
Impeach this bad man. https://t.co/yZiSnY7boD— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 15, 2017
There is no, "alt-left," @realDonaldTrump There are we who believe all are equal. All souls on board are equal.— loripetty (@loripetty) August 15, 2017
One good thing about that abomination of a speech: it's now impossible for any Trump supporter to pretend they don't know what he is.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 15, 2017
This is insane.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 15, 2017
That press conference kinda just blew up my brain. Everyone should watch that entire thing from beginning to end. It's truly shocking.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) August 15, 2017
Fuck this guy. He has such passion for all of the evil corrupt people on this planet. Never any rage at the murderers. No compassion. https://t.co/5OCUBFZdQx— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 15, 2017
It is time for all the generals that trump has appointed to declare him unfit for office. He is unfit and unstable. This is madness.— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) August 15, 2017
Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 15, 2017
OMG. What did we just watch? He blamed the anti-racism protesters. He likened George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Donald. Trump. Fuck. You.— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 15, 2017
If you think this will hurt him politically, you're naive. This helps him with his base. This helps him with his people. Of course it does.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 15, 2017
How can self professed "non-racist" & "non-white-supremacist" ppl continue to support him? I genuinely wanna know. How do you justify this?— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 15, 2017
What...the...FUCK is happening in our country? Our president just...sided...with...Nazis and white nationalists. Holy. FUCK https://t.co/YJzAQBUJgp— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 15, 2017
Trump doesn't know what the word conflate means. https://t.co/VqRaGZSFHc— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 15, 2017
Today is the day Donald Trump became president of the Confederacy.— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) August 15, 2017
"Look there was violence on both sides" - Trump on WW2 probably— josh groban (@joshgroban) August 15, 2017
Is being a nazi sympathizer an impeachable offense? Asking for a friend.— Valerie Bertinelli (@Wolfiesmom) August 15, 2017
W/o a prepared statement, this Pres says what he really believes: Equating neo-Nazis to those protecting civil rights is disgraceful & crazy— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 15, 2017
Donald, the only one praising your comments today is David Duke. That's how deeply damaged you are & how deeply you're damaging our country.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 15, 2017
Yo @IvankaTrump your pops needs an intervention— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) August 15, 2017
I. MISS. YOU. You made America great. This 45 is making America hate. #44 https://t.co/exwMFtMmVu— octavia spencer (@octaviaspencer) August 15, 2017
So the snowflakes armed with signs and slogans attacked and provoked the guys armed with sticks and guns. Right...— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) August 15, 2017
There has to be a polar opposite to everything. No matter how bad people get other people will only get better. Its miraculous. https://t.co/N6dAnoR73H— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) August 15, 2017
It's so obvious now.— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) August 15, 2017
One of the most transparent lies Trump told today is that he likes to wait for the facts before he makes a statement. Hahahahahaahaha— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 15, 2017