President Trump’s lessons from Charlottesville

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl discusses how President Donald Trump's 2017 response to Charlottesville is shaping his reaction to nationwide protests, and the latest on the president’s virus response.
3:28 | 07/02/20

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Transcript for President Trump’s lessons from Charlottesville
And Jon Karl joins me now from Washington Jun oh let's go back to the president's response on the corona virus he's been relatively quiet in the last few days. As cases sensors so any sense of how the White House is trying to contain this new spread of the virus. Heisman incredibly quiet he is not been attending. Corona virus task force meetings for some time he's basically completely out source that. But this to vice president pants who has been out there talking about this but. An answer to your question about a you know what kind of a response to contain the virus I don't get the sense. That there is any thing in the works in terms of a of a new federal response the line. By the we're hearing from the vice president. Is big by you know they did did state officials are the ones that are taking the lead on this they have support from the federal government. But I really don't get the sense the re getting anywhere near back to what we saw. Back in March. When they unveil of that effort to to control the spread. Flatten the curve no new federal intervention here and certainly nothing from the president himself. And John you mentioned in your piece that at least on Twitter the president seems more focused on culture wars so to speak so. And I you're a piece in the Atlantic with the headline the second battle of Charlottesville and you talk about this moment in his presidency and him and acting. The lessons that he took from that experience can you explain. How the president is an acting lessons from 2017. Wolves Charlottesville was really the previous before 20/20 that I think the low point of the trump presidency of the nation was horrified. To see white supremacists neo Nazis bogged marching you remember they were caring teacher Tiki torches. There at the University of Virginia. Chanting the words Jews will not replace us they were protesting the removal of they confederate statues. Some of the protesters doing that had. Not see flags Nazi insignia. Was something that truly shocked the nation. And one of those white supremacist drove his car into a group of counter protesters and actually killed 32 year old Heather higher. And back then the president's a made some initial remarks but did not specifically denounce a white supremacists. In fact he suggested there were bad people on both sides of of of the protests. His advisors. First in practically pleaded with him to come out the following day to make it more forceful statement that he would specifically denounce white supremacists and ever utter some words of unity he actually did that there was a teleprompter speech. When he saw the way the speech was received immediately after. He I yelled that is advisors and words that I can't use here on on on television even in digital and said he would never do it again the next days when he uttered those. Infamous words that there were very fine people. On ball sides of the protests including. By extension very fine people marching. We've the neo Nazis in the white supremacist. In the lessons healer from there what are. Never backed down never be brow beaten into into giving words of reconciliation. In the he really hasn't Donna this time after once again the nation has been. Horrified by what they've seen in this case by the of the killing of George Floyd. Our Jonathan brother from Washington we appreciate it Jonathan thanks. Thanks time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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