Trump Campaign Deceptively Edits Jake Tapper to Falsely Claim Joe Biden Was ‘Lying’ About Charlottesville in DNC Speech
President Donald Trump’s campaign used a deceptively-edited clip of CNN’s Jake Tapper in order to falsely claim that former Vice President Joe Biden was “lying about Charlottesville” during his closing speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Biden, who has often cited Trump’s response to Charlottesville as the inspiration for his presidential run, referenced the tragedy during his extraordinarily well-received speech Thursday night, saying:
Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville.
Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s?
Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it?
Remember what the president said?
There were quote, “very fine people on both sides.”
It was a wake-up call for us as a country.
Many conservatives took to social media to claim that Biden was “lying” about Trump’s response, including the official Trump War Room Twitter account. They posted a 7-second clip of Tapper, and wrote “Joe Biden is lying about Charlottesville again. Fact check from CNN’s Jake Tapper: ‘Elsewhere in those remarks the President did condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists. So he’s not saying that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists are very fine people’”.
Joe Biden is lying about Charlottesville again.
Fact check from CNN’s Jake Tapper:
“Elsewhere in those remarks the President did condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
“So he’s not saying that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists are very fine people”pic.twitter.com/fsuM0xarmt
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 21, 2020
But Tapper’s full remarks from that April 26, 2019 episode of CNN’s The Lead substantiate everything Biden said in his speech. Those who defend Trump’s “very fine people on both sides” remark point to his later disclaimer that he was “not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally.”
During the episode, though, Tapper addressed that defense, and destroyed it.
He played a clip of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta telling Trump “Neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest…”, at which point Trump interrupted and said “Excuse me. Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo — and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.”
That’s when Tapper noted that “elsewhere in those remarks, the president did condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists. So he’s not saying that the neo- Nazis and white supremacists are very fine people,” then added — in a statement that the Trump campaign cut off in mid-sentence — “but he is saying people protesting alongside those neo-Nazi and white supremacists are very fine people. Who are they?”
A few seconds later, Tapper told his panel that “there’s this big effort by Trump supporters to pretend that the president didn’t say what he said, to call this all a hoax,” and added “Again, he didn’t refer to Nazis as very fine people. He referred to the people protesting with the Nazis.And I don’t know who are the good people there.”
He also gave his own version of Biden’s description of the demonstrators, saying “Friday night was the Jews will not replace us. Saturday, somebody was killed. At what point were there good people there?”
There have been times when people have claimed that Trump refused to denounce white supremacists and neo-Nazis, which is false to the letter of what Trump said — if not the spirit that Tapper identified.
But Biden accurately quoted Trump during his speech, and his description was entirely consistent with Jake Tapper’s “fact-check” — at least when you play the whole thing.
Watch the clip above via CNN.
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