The Note: Trump again under fire after reversal on Charlottesville comments

Trump said there were "fine people on both sides" of Charlottesville violence.

ByABC News
August 16, 2017, 7:17 AM


  • President Donald Trump heads back to Bedminster, New Jersey, today and signs the "Forever GI Bill" expanding veteran education benefits.
  • Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on “Good Morning America”: “We have no place in our party at all for KKK, anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, it has no place in the Republican Party. There is no home here. We don't want your vote. We don't support you. We'll speak out against you.”
  • NAFTA 2.0: Today kicks off five days of negotiations among the United States, Mexico and Canada on what Trump called the "worst trade deal ever."
  • Vice President Mike Pence is in Chile and takes questions from reporters with President Michelle Bachelet.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in Miami today on so-called sanctuary cities.
  • After President Trump doubled down Tuesday, arguing that there were "very fine people on both sides" of the Charlottesville violence, a number of Republican lawmakers again called for clearer, unambiguous condemnation of organized hate groups.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' MaryAlice Parks

    The president's wife, daughter and own vice president saw pictures of white nationalists' carrying torches in a Southern street -- chanting slogans like "Jews will not replace us" -- and felt compelled to speak out. President Trump, by his own admission, was not convinced by what he saw. For the president there could have been "fine people" in the crowd, though they would have been walking alongside symbols of racist violence, mass murder and oppression. Politicians tend to speak either because they think it is right or because it is in their own self-interest. While the president condemned neo-Nazis and the KKK, he stopped short of telling them he did not want their support. The white nationalists continue to be very specific about backing this president. We have seen from his past behavior that President Trump can prioritize loyalty above almost anything else, and perhaps that is driving some of his decision-making here. Either he wants and enjoys the support of white nationalist groups or he does not. Or he thinks he needs their support to win. Republicans on the whole will continue to face questions about those possibilities, whether they rode the coattails of his implicit acceptance or encouragement of these groups, and whether any of that is excusable.


    "There is absolutely no gray area when it comes to condemning groups who breed on racism, hate and division." – Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam

    White House staffers caught off guard by Trump's contentious news conference. Responding to a contentious news conference at Trump Tower Tuesday, some members of the White House staff registered surprise over President Donald Trump's decision to field questions and engage in a public debate over his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, sources told ABC News.

    Report: Cutting key Obamacare subsidies could hike some premiums. Health insurance premiums could rise by roughly 20 percent next year for some consumers if President Donald Trump decides to end key Obamacare subsidy payments to insurers, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Moore, Strange advance to GOP runoff in Alabama special election. Incumbent U.S. Senator Luther Strange and former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore advanced to a runoff election in Alabama's GOP primary to replace the seat vacated by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the AP projected Tuesday night.

    Lawmakers slam Trump for laying "blame on both sides" in Charlottesville rally. President Donald Trump's news conference Tuesday afternoon deteriorated into a spirited argument over Saturday's controversial statement on Charlottesville, prompting swift responses on social media. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle expressed their discontent at the president's backtracking on his handling of the violent episode.

    Trump: "We'll see what happens" with Steve Bannon. President Donald Trump deflected questions Tuesday about the status of his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, saying the former chairman of Breitbart News, who has been accused of being a white nationalist, is a "good man." "He is a good man and he is not a racist, I can tell you that," Trump said during the infrastructure briefing.

    Trump retweets, then deletes image of a cartoon train hitting CNN figure. After engaging in a contentious exchange Monday with a television reporter at the White House, President Donald Trump retweeted an animated image from his Twitter account Tuesday, showing a train with his name on the side hitting a person covered by the CNN logo. The president has since deleted the tweet and the White House told ABC News he inadvertently retweeted the image.

    The Washington Post editorial board op-ed: "The nation can only weep." The Washington Post

    Trump goes off script and white supremacists cheer. Politico

    Trump has not yet reached out to Charlottesville victim's family. The Hill

    On a "rowdy day" of three town halls, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is shouted down by crowds across the Front Range. The Denver Post

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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