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Seth Meyers: If Trump ‘Does Not Preside Over Our Society then He’s Not a President’

Late Night host Seth Meyers opened Monday night’s show in a serious manner, addressing the deadly protests in Charlottesville and President Donald Trump‘s comments thereafter in which he blamed violence on “many sides.”

After rolling a clip of Trump’s comments, Meyers said “If that choice of words made you feel sick to your stomach, the good news is you’re a normal and decent person,” before adding “The jury is still out on the president, as he initially refused to condemn the white supremacist movement in this country.”

Meyers then gave Mr. Trump “very partial credit” for adding a statement yesterday in which he called out specific hate groups saying “I’m sorry, pencils down on this subject was Saturday evening.”

The balance of his opening segment was a text book case of a thoughtful, impassioned and sober take down of what he sees as President Trump’s racist history and his inability to ‘preside over our society.’ Rough transcript:

Some ignored it or played it down when Donald Trump claimed our first black president wasn’t born in this country. It was racist and insane, but he was written off as a clown, a bitter little man who didn’t know an American could have a name like Barack Obama. Then he called Mexicans rapists during the speech announcing his candidacy. He called Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas.’ Then he brought Steve Bannon into the White House with him, worked to take away voting rights from black people and hammered away at the idea that Chicago was a wasteland because of the violent black people living there. And now white supremacists and American Nazis are visible and energetic and demonstrative in a way we have not seen in our lifetime.

Donald Trump did not immediately denounce the white supremacist movement when given the chance. And now, whether he knows it or not, many of those people see him as leading that movement. The leader of our country is called the president because he’s supposed to preside over our society. His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally and immediately condemn what is evil in us. And if he does not do that, if he does not preside over our society, then he’s not a president. You can stand for a nation or you can stand for a hateful movement. You can’t do both. And if you don’t make the right choice, I am confident the American voter will. Thank you, guys.

Watch above, courtesy of NBC.

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