Donald Trump ‘totally wrong’ in response to Charlottesville, says Boris Johnson
Johnson told the BBC it was a “great shame” the president had “failed to make a clear and fast distinction between fascists and antifascists.”
“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 are all able to make, between fascists and antifascists, between Nazis and anti-Nazis,” he said.
Johnson also hinted that Trump’s state visit to the UK would take place next year, although refused to reveal any more details.
It is the first time Johnson has openly condemned Trump for his response to the unrest in Virginia.
Prime Minister Theresa May has also criticized Trump’s comments, saying there was “no equivalence” between fascists and their opponents. However, she ignored repeated calls to cancel his state visit.
Trump has been widely criticized for condemning “violence on all sides” rather than directly taking aim at far-right protesters, some of whom are his supporters. He claimed both sides in the clashes were “very violent,” yet there were some “very fine” people on both sides.
The protest turned deadly when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The crash also resulted in at least 19 people being injured and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declaring a state of emergency.
At a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona, this week, Trump said his response had been misrepresented by “damned dishonest” journalists.
“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. They don’t report the facts,” he told supporters.
“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.”