CNN anchor Kate Bolduan and Corey Stewart, former Virginia chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had a heated debate about who’s to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, with Stewart trying to relentlessly condemn the left.
Bolduan originally started things off by asking about Steve Bannon‘s interview, where he called the right a collection of “clowns, fringe and losers.” Stewart, a Republican running for a Virginia Senate seat, turned it to immediately talk about how the conversation surrounding Charlottesville has been wrong.
“What the left is trying to do is conflate the two things, they’re trying to say that conservatives, those who oppose the removal of historical monuments are somehow are tied to the right wing, far, far right wing groups, Neo-Nazis, KKK, etc,” he said. ‘Which the Republican Party has nothing to do with. That was the point he was trying to make.”
Bolduan was ready for the change in topic and brought up a Stewart quote to the Washington Post saying he doesn’t believe the violence wasn’t caused by white supremacy. Stewart used his response to back what the President said about the event, that both sides were to blame.
“There were some groups there, the KKK and Neo-Nazis but there were also normal people, not necessarily the conservative end of the spectrum, who don’t want to see these historical monuments removed. Once the rally began, you had this far left group, this violent group, antifa, which attacked them. They were out to start a fight. They got the fight. They got the attention they wanted. Both of these groups should be condemned for this violence, which is completely unjustified.”
Bolduan was stunned and said that the march wasn’t about the monuments once the protesters carried swastikas, but Stewart stood by his statement that not everyone there believed the same things as the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis. Stewart furthered agreed that the statements like “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil” were wrong, but that they were not the only ones to blame and he wished more people would speak out against the left.
“We have a lot of weak, lily livered Republicans, who are refusing to stand-up for conservative America, for conservative values and people who don’t want to see historical monuments removed. The left is doing a very good job trying to conflate Neo-Nazis with conservatives. It’s wrong and the Republicans are refusing to stand up against it.”
Bolduan and Stewart then started the interrupting game once Stewart started talking about the “violent left,” to which Bolduan asked, “What about the violent right?” Stewart said everyone has been talking about the right, which is wrong, but that there needs to be more attention on the violent left.
“Nobody, besides the President and myself, is talking the violent left, antifa, who are equally to blame for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville,” Stewart said.
Bolduan asked if there was a “moral equivalence” between Neo-Nazis and anyone else, to which Stewart respond no, but “nobody is condemning” the far left.
“Because they are afraid. The establishment of Republicans are afraid of being labeled by CNN as racists and bigots. They knows that’s exactly what you’re going to do and only a few are going to stand up against you,” Stewart said.
It was when Bolduan brought up the death of Heather Heyer, who died when a right extremist drove a car into a crowd of counter protesters, that they played the interrupting game again.
“I’m the anchor of the show, I’m asking the question, hold on a second. In no way am I conflating two things…Stop talking. Stop talking. You are the guest on my show. I would like to continue the conversation with you, respectfully,” Bolduan said.
Stewart went on to stay the left were the ones who came and started the violence, and asked where the condemnation for them was? To which Bolduan shot back, “Where is the condemnation of the right?” They continued their interrupting banter until Stewart asked, “Can I have a chance to respond. I am a guest on your show. Presumably, you brought me here to respond, right?” Which Bolduan responded with, “Corey, let’s be adults,” before Stewart broke out into his rant.
“The right has been backing down for years and years and years. They are so afraid of being labeled by the mainstream media and the left as racists and bigots that when the attacks come, they immediately back down. Finally, you have a President of the United States that is saying no, look, Neo-nazi’s and the KKK have nothing to do with the Republican Party. They are wrong. We condemn them. To say that’s okay that violence committed by the left is somehow okay, but we have to condemn the right, look, you have to condemn both sides. Violence is always wrong. Political violence is wrong in America.”
The back and forth continued until Bolduan ended by asking, “Is it terrorism?” Stewart responded with a no, “It’s a murder, a crime.”
Watch the full interview above.
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