Trump response to racist rally ‘wasn’t fine,’ says US ambassador to Israel

Speaking with a reporter at a ceremony marking the arrival of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft purchased by El Al at Ben-Gurion Airport, David Friedman, Trump’s Israel ambassador, said the president is doing a good job but is treated unfairly by the media and should be given a chance.

Asked, however, if he agreed with Trump’s statement after the August 12 Charlottesville rally, where white supremacists marched, chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans, and which ended with the death of a 32-year-old counter-protester, Friedman said, “I think the reaction wasn’t fine, but, you know, I’d rather talk about Boeing today.”

Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence in his initial statement, including the “alt-right and the alt-left.” The reaction across the Jewish community was overwhelmingly critical. Most felt he should have included a swift, clear condemnation of the neo-Nazi marchers.

The next day, Trump slammed the White Supremacists, KKK and neo-Nazis, saying hatred has no place in America, although he stood by his statement blaming both sides. At a press conference that followed, he said there were also “very fine people” on both sides, which further infuriated the community.


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