Fox News host Shepard Smith said Wednesday his booking team was unable to find a single Republican willing to come on his show and defend President Donald Trump’s remarks on the violence that occurred over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Our booking team — and they’re good — reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today,” Smith said on his show, Shepard Smith Reporting.
“Let’s be honest, Republicans don’t often really mind coming on Fox News Channel. We couldn’t get anyone to come and defend him here because we thought, in balance, someone should do that,” Smith said.
“We worked very hard at it throughout the day, and we were unsuccessful,” he added. “And of those who are condemning the president’s condemnable actions, I’ve not heard any prominent leaders, former presidents, members of the House or the Senate use his name while speaking in generalities.”
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 16, 2017
Smith’s comments came in the midst of mounting criticism directed against Trump for his statements in response to the violent protests in Charlottesville, in which one person was killed when a car rammed into a group counter-protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally.
Trump’s initial statement Saturday from his Bedminister, New Jersey, golf club blamed “many sides” for the violence, but did not specifically call out any of the hate groups.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said.
Trump disavowed hate groups Monday, specifically denouncing neo-Nazis and white nationalist groups in response to the alt-right rally.
But speaking from Trump Tower Tuesday, Trump also criticized “alt-left” counter-protesters and emphasized that there was violence from “both sides” during the rally.
“You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest,” Trump said, referring to individuals protesting against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville.
“Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch,” Trump said.
Following Trump’s comments, several notable Republicans issued statements denouncing hatred and white supremacy.
“We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for,” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday. “There can be no moral ambiguity.”
Meanwhile, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush delivered a joint statement Wednesday calling on the U.S. to reject all forms of bigotry and hatred.
A group of black Christian leaders did issue a statement specifically defending the president’s remarks, however.
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source: Western Journalism