USA

This is NOT how you denounce White supremacists

Pressed by Fox News' John Roberts on why Trump refused to overtly reject White supremacists, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said this on Thursday:

"This has been answered yesterday by the President himself, the day before by the President himself. On the debate stage, the President was asked this. He said 'sure' three times."

Er, what? Let's go to the debate transcript!

Here's the relevant exchange among Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace:

Wallace: But are you willing tonight to condemn White supremacists and militia groups ...

Trump: Sure.

Wallace: ... and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we've seen in Portland?

Trump: Sure, I'm willing to do that but ...

Wallace: Are you prepared to specifically ...

Biden: Then do it.

Wallace: Well, go ahead, sir.

Trump: I would say -- I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing.

Wallace: So what are you -- what are you ...

Trump: If you look ...

Wallace: What are you saying?

Trump: I'm -- I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace.

Does any even moderately objective person come away from that back-and-forth thinking, "Yeah man, Trump really did make clear he condemns hate and doesn't want the votes or support of people who show that sort of intolerance?"

OF COURSE NOT.

Not only is "sure" not exactly the strongest word of condemnation -- by a long shot -- but Trump repeatedly went on to say that the real violence and intolerance is coming from far-left groups.

The Point: It takes a willing suspension of disbelief to think that McEnany is doing anything other than trying to gaslight us all. Anyone who watched that debate knows that Trump actively avoided an outright condemnation of hate groups. Of that I am "sure."

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