Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer called President Donald Trump’s bizarre rant at a press conference in New York City Tuesday about the violent Charlottesville white supremacy rally a “moral disgrace.”
The syndicated columnist appeared aghast on Fox News’ “Special Report” when fellow panelist Laura Ingraham suggested that Trump had become “sidetracked” and caught in a “pundit trap” when he became defensive about his response to the weekend’s events in Virginia, instead of talking about the planned press conference topic of infrastructure.
“To critique what he did today on the grounds that it distracts from the agenda or was a tactical mistake I believe is a cop-out,” Krauthammer told Ingraham. “What Trump did today was a moral disgrace.”
“What he did is he reverted back to where he was on Saturday, and made it very clear that what he read on ... Monday, two days later, was a hostage tape, clearly reading off a prompter, saying these denunciations by name of the KKK, et cetera,” he continued.
“That wasn’t Trump speaking. That was the aides speaking.”
At Trump Tower earlier Tuesday, Trump defended his initial statement on the Charlottesville riots and once again placed the blame on “both sides” of the conflict.
Krauthammer argued that Trump’s off-script press conference revealed the president’s true feelings, though Ingraham argued that Trump had already responded to the hate groups on Monday.
“I’ll tell you why he didn’t [denounce white supremacy] on Saturday, because it’s not what’s in his heart,” he said, adding that his Monday statement condemning Nazis and the KKK was read off a prompter.
“He was not asked to do the press conference. The reason he did it [is because] he has a point to make,” Krauthammer added. “And he made it very plain to the country that what he believes [is] what he said on Saturday and not what he read two days later.”
Watch Krauthammer and Ingraham’s full discussion in the video below.