Trump denies calling neo-Nazis 'fine people' after Charlottesville, cites recent fact-check by Snopes

Trump denies calling neo-Nazis 'fine people' after Charlottesville, cites recent fact-check by Snopes
Donald Trump claimed to have never praised neo-Nazis during a press conference following Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally in 2017 (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: Former President Donald Trump boasted on Friday that he never referred to neo-Nazis as "very fine people," citing a contentious fact-check as proof, despite it having been partially disclaimed.

Trump took to Truth Social, quoting what he claimed to be a New York Post article, but which originated from a Fox News post.

"Left-wing fact checker admits Trump never called Charlottesville neo-Nazis ‘very fine people’," Trump wrote, quoting the Fox News headline. "While Trump did say that there were 'very fine people on both sides', he also specifically noted that he was not talking about neo-Nazis and white supremacists."

Donald Trump (teamtrump/ Instagram)
Snopes said that Donald Trump did not praise neo-Nazis in Charlottesville (teamtrump/ Instagram)

Snopes fact-check faces immediate backlash with editor's note update

The fact-check in question, from Snopes, faced immediate backlash and led to an updated editor's note. The original claim Snopes declared false was that "On Aug 15, 2017, then-President Donald Trump called neo-Nazis and white supremacists who attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, 'very fine people'," reported Raw Story.

Snopes acknowledged that Trump did say there were "very fine people on both sides," but the false ruling was based on his additional comment that neo-Nazis and white nationalists should be "condemned totally." "You had some very bad people in that group," Trump claimed. "But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides...I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists."

(Getty Images)
The Charlottesville protest was made up of white supremacists and other members of the alt-right
(Getty Images)

The New Republic criticized Snopes' take, arguing the fact-checking site failed to recognize Trump's rhetorical doublespeak when he referenced people who had shown up the night before the rally to protest "innocently" and "quietly." Author Parker Molloy wrote, "The 'night before' that Trump was referring to included the infamous tiki torch march, the one with people chanting 'Blood and soil!' and 'You will not replace us!' and 'Jews will not replace us!' those were the people Trump was specifically referring to in his defense of attendees."

"This fact check aimed to confirm what Trump said, not whether what he said was true or false," Snopes responded to the criticism. "For the record, virtually every source that covered the Unite the Right debacle concluded that it was conceived of, led by, and attended by white supremacists and that therefore Trump's characterization was wrong."

Donald Trump's remarks on Charlottesville echo his pattern of raising questionable figures

The exact intent behind Trump's comments remains known only to Trump himself. However, this is not the first instance of Trump being accused of praising controversial figures. One House Republican giggled when asked by a Raw Story reporter about Trump’s reported praise of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, as revealed by his former chief of staff, John Kelly.

Kelly claimed Trump praised Hitler for his economic record and stated he "did some good things." Former executive vice president of the Trump Organization, Barbara Res, also revealed that Trump thought it was humorous to make Nazi jokes around Jewish employees.

"Then he looked at a couple of our executives who happen to be Jewish, and he said 'Watch out for this guy, he sort of remembers the ovens,' and then smiled," Res claimed. "He was making a joke about the Nazi ovens and eating people."

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