David Gergen had some harsh words for President Trump regarding his reaction to the Charlottesville violence.
When asked by CNN’s Ana Cabrera of what the “political risks” were for not specifically calling out and taking a stronger stance against the hate groups that incited violence, Gergen took a dark turn.
“We’re in danger of coming apart as a people now,” Gergen reacted. “We’re not unifying. We’re moving in just the other direction. That’s the danger if he doesn’t move. If he simply sidesteps all of this… I think he’s missing a moment when views are going to harden on both sides. The white supremacists have taken heart some things he said today. He must move against that, be he also has to reach out to people who are not in his base and convince them that he truly means what he says and he’s speaking from the heart if he wants to unify us.
Cabrera then asked why he thinks Trump’s reaction fell short.
“I don’t think this is dog whistle territory,” Gergen responded, “Dog whistles are something that are subtle. This is not subtle at all. He made it very, very clear by equating the violence on both sides as being sort of equivalent to each other… He’s made it very clear he’s going to defend to the extent that he feels he can- people who are radical extremists and I think that’s a terrible mistake on his part.”
He mentioned how he always talks tough to foreign nations like Venezuela, China, or Europe, and how he called out the “thugs” who rioted after his inauguration, but couldn’t call out these “terrorists.”
“You can’t have it both ways,” he added. “You have to be very consistent as president in order to persuade people that your heart is in the right place.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
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