Trump under fire for response to Charlottesville

ABC News' Martha Raddatz reports on the fallout from President Trump's Charlottesville response.
4:06 | 08/20/17

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Transcript for Trump under fire for response to Charlottesville
What happens when a president faces a defining moment for all Americans and chooses to speak only to a portion of his base? Who pays the price? If you voted for Donald Trump, you may have agreed with what you heard Tuesday when the president tore into the media, doubled down on his assertion that both sides in charlottesville shared the blame. The polls say that message went over reasonably well with trump's most loyal sporters. If you're among those two liked what you heard, you should know those words won't come cheap. By alienating so much of America. Including allies in the Republican party and the business world, Donald Trump may have ir rep rably damaged his ability to deliver on campaign promises. He needs congress. Promises like the wall, tax reform, Obamacare repeal. A big infrom structure plan. This week, because of what he sa, his allies are deserting him. For the country at large, the main concern is that the president clearly failed to reject racism. Or rally the nation. Moments of crisis have been an opportunity for a president to show strength. Compassion. To heal divisions. President trump has often claimed to be a unifier. I'm a unifier. I know people are going to find that a little bit hard to believe. But believe me, I am a unifier. Jews will not replace us. Reporter: When confronted with this. There was though healing. It looked like they had rough, bad people. Neo-nazis. White nationalists. Whatever you want to call them. You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest. Legally protest. They had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit. So -- I only tell you this. There are two sides to a story. Reporter: Those words did not unite the nation. And while the president was clear in his condemnation of Heather Heyer's accused murderer, his overall message was not a comfort to her mother. I'm not talking to the president now. I'm sorry. After what he said about my child. Reporter: Former house 1350eker newt Gingrich, among trump's closest advisers says the president may not understand the extent of the damage. I think he is much more isolate than he thinks he is is. He has much weaker support in the congress than he thinks he does. Reporter: That may be an understatement. Among the Republicans speaking out, South Carolina's Tim Scott, who called the president's words indefensible. What we want to see from our president is clarity. And moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happen as. Reporter: Tennessee's Bob corker. Once a trump vice presidential prospect questioned his capacity to lead. He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the the character of this nation. So the question this morning, when a president's Ian party questions whether he understands the character of this nation, can that president still be the unifier Donald Trump hoped to be? The unifier this country needs. We have one seen this morning the president may be headed in the opposite direction. Towards more division. His long-time chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who left the white house Friday to rejoin Breitbart news giving this ominous warning today to "The Washington post." If the Republican party of capitol hill gets behind the president on his plans and not theirs, lit bull be sweetness and light. Be one big happy family. But Bannon added with a smile, he does not expect sweetness anytime soon.

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

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