Boris Johnson: Donald Trump got it 'totally wrong' on Charlottesville, says UK Foreign Secretary

President should have made a 'clear and fast distinction'

Jon Sharman
Friday 25 August 2017 09:39
Boris Johnson says Donald Trump got it "totally wrong" on Charlottesville

Donald Trump “got it totally wrong” in his response to the Charlottesville, Virginia, riots, Boris Johnson has said.

It was a “great shame” the President was unable to distinguish between neo-Nazis and anti-fascist protesters, the Foreign Secretary said.

Mr Johnson also hinted strongly that Mr Trump’s state visit to the UK would take place next year.

He told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “I thought he got it totally wrong and I thought it was a great shame that he failed to make a clear and fast distinction, which we all are able to make, between fascists and anti-fascists, between Nazis and anti-Nazis.”

The state visit was more likely to happen next year than this, he added.

Mr Trump first blamed “many sides” for the violence that erupted in Charlottesville two weeks ago, when white supremacists marched on the town to take part in a “Unite the Right” rally.

In a later statement he singled out the neo-Nazi and other racist elements but, in further, impromptu remarks at Trump Tower, returned to condemning “both sides” for the fighting.

His words drew widespread criticism, including from fellow Republicans.

At a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona, this week, Mr Trump said his response had been misrepresented by “damned dishonest” journalists.

He re-read parts of his statements on Charlottesville to prove he had condemned the racism on show, and told supporters: “The - and I mean truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories.

“They have no sources in many cases. They say “a source says”—there is no such thing. But they don’t report the facts.

“Just like they don’t want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists, and the KKK.

“I openly called for unity, healing and love, and they know it because they were all there.”

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