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Speaker Paul Ryan: President Trump ‘Messed Up’ on Charlottesville

During Paul Ryan‘s town hall with CNN, the House Speaker faced questions about whether President Trump has done enough to condemn racism since the riots of Charlottesville.

Financial analyst Eric Kramer asked Ryan if he would condemn Trump’s statements on Charlottesville to the extent that GOP Senator Bob Corker did last week. Ryan said that Trump was “pitch perfect” when he addressed the violence the previous Monday, but the president “messed up” with his Tuesday comments about “both sides.”

“I do think he could have done better, I think he needed to do better,” said Ryan. “I do believe that he messed up in his comments on Tuesday, when it sounded like a moral equivocation, or at the very least moral ambiguity. When we need extreme moral clarity.”

Ryan went on to praise Trump for his latest speech about how there’s “no room for prejudice” when the country focuses on patriotism and unity. He also expressed concern that the country will lose its moral clarity if people lose their sense of outrage when it comes to condemning white supremacists.

Jake Tapper brought Ryan back to Kramer’s concern about the GOP’s apparent reluctance to condemn Trump for calling Neo-Nazis “very fine people.”

“There were not any very fine people at that rally,” Tapper said to a round of applause. “It wasn’t morally ambiguous, it was morally wrong: what the president said.”

Ryan continued to offer a response as Tapper questioned him about whether Trump’s condemnation of white supremacists was sufficient.

“I have a hard time believing – if you’re standing in a crowd to protest something and you see all these anti-semitic slogans, and ‘heel Hitlers’ and swastikas – that you’re not a good person. This is very clear. I totally agree with that. That’s why I think it was not only morally ambiguous, it was equivocating. And that was wrong. That’s why I think it was very, very important that he has since then cleared that up. I think it was important that he did that tonight.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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