In an interview with CNN broadcast on Friday, former Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer blasted President Donald Trump’s latest comments about the 2017 neo-Nazi rally in the Virginia town as “delusional” and “dangerous,” Mediaite reports.
Signer, who was mayor during the rally, said the following.
“He doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. It’s not just delusional, it’s very dangerous to choose to see this event through that lens that he is offering again.”
In 2017, as BuzzFeed News notes, President Donald Trump infamously said that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which led to the death of Heather Heyer at the hands of one of the white supremacist protesters.
According to the publication, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke spoke at the event, during which violent neo-Nazis chanted slogans such as “Jews will not replace us.” The president’s drawing of a false equivalence between neo-Nazi protesters and counter-protesters prompted outrage and condemnation, but he has nevertheless repeatedly pushed back against accusations of racism.
Today, President Donald Trump doubled down on what is being interpreted as a defense of white supremacy and neo-Nazism, defending his earlier comments, and praising “great” Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
“People were there protesting the taking down of the monument of Robert E. Lee — everybody knows that,” the president told reporters gathered outside the White House, and then doubled down on defending his 2017 comments.
President Trump has long been accused of embracing support from white nationalists and the far-right, instead of explicitly disavowing and denouncing it.
In the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque massacre, for instance, Trump downplayed the threat of white nationalism, according to CNN, suggesting that there isn’t a rise in far-right violence across the world.
Trump defends Charlottesville comments by praising a Confederate general https://t.co/ciQX9couB4
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 26, 2019
More recently, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump came under fire for tweeting a video meant to make a connection between Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the September 11 attacks.
The video — which features footage of World Trade Center towers crashing juxtaposed with Omar’s comments — was interpreted as a call for violence by many, and Omar has since received death threats.
— Emily Blout (@EmilyBlout) April 27, 2019
During his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, former Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer argued that Trump is trying to “mislead” Americans by distorting facts about the rally. Signer also pointed out that some of the protesters were MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporters.
“There were Make America Great hats, the red baseball caps around this Unite the Right rally…What the president seems to be very stubbornly and dangerously trying to mislead the country about was this was not about history enthusiasts,” he said.