‘Both Sides’

Wednesday, August 16, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 8.23.38 AM

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • In a tense exchange with reporters, President Trump reverted to blaming both sides for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. “Is it George Washington next week?” Mr. Trump asked, referring to the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park.

  • Mr. Trump’s remarks buoyed the white nationalist movement as no president has done in generations by equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville.

  • Walmart’s chief executive criticized the president as six other business leaders stepped down from presidential advisory councils. Mr. Trump said they were “not taking their jobs seriously.”
  • If Mr. Trump makes good on his promise to “let Obamacare implode,”premiums would increase by as much as 20 percent and the federal deficit would rise, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office said.
  • In recent days, South Korea, Iran and Venezuela have reminded Mr. Trump that intimidation tactics can get complicated on the global stage.

— The First Draft Team

Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language

By LIAM STACK
Demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., from the so-called alt-right movement, whose self-professed goal is the creation of a white state. It is also anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and opposed to homosexuality.

Demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., from the so-called alt-right movement, whose self-professed goal is the creation of a white state. It is also anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and opposed to homosexuality. Edu Bayer for The New York Times

President Trump angrily denounced the so-called alt-left at a news conference on Tuesday, claiming that the group attacked followers of the so-called alt-right at a white supremacist rally that exploded into deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.
“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” he asked. There was “blame on both sides,” he said. “I have no doubt about it.”
Both phrases are part of a broad lexicon of far-right terminology that has become important to understanding American politics during the Trump administration. Many of these terms have their roots in movements that are racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.
Read a brief guide to the meaning of expressions used by white supremacists and far-right extremists »
George Washington, Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson

Historians Question Trump’s Comments on Confederate Monuments

By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER

The president said removing Confederate monuments was “changing history.” But historians say that monuments don’t always tell the story we think.

‘Wow’: Stunned TV Hosts Reacted in Real Time to Trump

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

President Trump’s fiery news conference left many on cable news networks searching for ways to describe what they had just seen, and partisan lines blurred in the process.

Trump Shares, Then Deletes, Twitter Post of Train Hitting Cartoon Person Covered by CNN Logo

By EILEEN SULLIVAN AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

Days after a driver rammed into a crowd in Charlottesville, Va., the president retweets a cartoon attacking the news network.

FACT CHECK

Trump Asks, ‘What About the Alt-Left?’ Here’s an Answer

By LINDA QIU

In remarks about Charlottesville, President Trump falsely equated “alt-left” violence with the killing of Heather D. Heyer.

The “Unite the Right” rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

One Theory Over Meaning of Trump’s ‘Many Sides’ Remark

By JEREMY W. PETERS

President Trump’s reluctance to single out the far right reflects a view widely held by conservatives that the news media willingly overlooks left-wing extremism.

Taxpayers Will Pay if Trump Halts Crucial Subsidy Payments to Insurers

By HAEYOUN PARK

A newly released report says that the move would cause higher premiums and a larger federal deficit.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran addressing the Parliament in Tehran on Monday. Mr. Rouhani warned that Iran could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal within hours if the United States kept on imposing new sanctions.

Iran’s President Threatens to Restart Nuclear Program

By THOMAS ERDBRINK

Hassan Rouhani said he could revive uranium-enrichment activities in “hours” if the American government imposed further sanctions.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea said Tuesday that his government would “do everything it can to prevent war from breaking out.”

South Korea’s Leader Bluntly Warns U.S. Against Striking North

By CHOE SANG-HUN

President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday that unilateral military action over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program would be intolerable.

Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Alabama Decides G.O.P. Candidates for Senate Runoff

By JONATHAN MARTIN AND ALAN BLINDER

After a crowded Republican race, Roy Moore, a former chief justice of the State Supreme Court, and Luther Strange, the current senator, will face each other in a runoff next month.

Donald J. Trump appearing on “Late Night With David Letterman” in 1987. The future president occasionally laughed on the show, something he rarely does in public now.
ON COMEDY

The Misunderstood History of Trump on Letterman

By JASON ZINOMAN

In more than 30 appearances, the future president tried out his talking points on a host who was among the first to treat him as a serious political thinker.

Stephen K. Bannon at Joint Base Andrews, Md., in April.

Trump Says Bannon Is ‘Not a Racist,’ but His Job Status Remains in Doubt

By MARK LANDLER

The president defended his embattled chief strategist even as Washington waits for Stephen K. Bannon’s departure from the White House.

A group held a vigil on Sunday in Charlottesville, Va.

U.S. Rescinded Grant to Combat Right-Wing Extremism

By RON NIXON AND EILEEN SULLIVAN

Shortly after taking office, the Trump administration pulled back a $400,000 grant to a Chicago-based group founded to combat right-wing white extremist groups.

THE UPSHOT

Obamacare’s Bare County Problem Looks Mostly Solved, for Now

By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ

With an announcement in Nevada, a market that President Trump said was set to “implode” shows yet more signs of health.

A building worker and an NYPD officer stand at the entrance to Trump Tower during President Trump’s mid-August sojourn in New York City.
TIMES INSIDER

Trump and the City

By SARAH MASLIN NIR

Since the election, I’ve spent more time in his tower than he has.

President Trump, with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, announcing the “streamlining” of permitting requirements for infrastructure projects.

Trump Signs Order Rolling Back Environmental Rules on Infrastructure

By LISA FRIEDMAN

The president said he was streamlining regulations in order to speed construction of infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.

The Justice Department demanded that Dreamhost, a web hosting company, turn over records about a website used to organize protests of President Trump’s inauguration.

Justice Dept. Demands Data on Visitors to Anti-Trump Website

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

A web hosting firm is fighting a sweeping search warrant for information about visitors to an anti-Trump website used to organize inauguration protests.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Scott Greer in The Daily Caller:
“Law enforcement was on hand at the dueling demonstrations on Saturday, decked out in riot gear and looking prepared for the worst. Except they weren’t allowed to do their job.”
Articulating a point hammered home by many on the right, and even some on the left, Mr. Greer questions why the police were not more active in quelling the violence at the rally in Charlottesville, Va. “The chaos,” he writes, “seems like it could have been contained and fewer people hurt if police were a more active presence.” He ultimately finds Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Mayor Mike Signer, both Democrats, responsible for the “police inaction” and ensuing violence. Read more »
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From the Left
• Laura Smith in New York Magazine:
“When it comes to identifying the perpetrators of racial hatred in this country, it is tempting to comfort ourselves with gender tropes. But women have always played a determining role in white-supremacist movements.”
Ms. Smith offers a historical perspective on the underemphasized history of women’s participation in the white nationalist movement. “When we think of the Klan,” she writes, “we imagine male faces under the pointed white hoods.” But during the height of the K.K.K.’s popularity, “a woman was the mouthpiece and arguably its most influ