The White House had a tough after post the Charlottesville rally attack, not because of the violence and tragedy that took place but because of the President's adamant refusal to name White Supremacist groups as the responsible parties. While Trump did issue a message condoling the death of a lawyer and condemning the act that led to the fatality, he avoided mentioning that White Supremacists groups were at fault. This had sparked off outrage in all parts so of the country.
White House Officials were hard pressed to defend their president with explanations that White Supremacists groups fell under the President's description of parties that sought to create a disturbance. However, soon after the officials had managed to subdue the flames for a bit with carefully chosen words, the President set off a conflagration of sorts yesterday by reverting to his original 'both sides are to blame' stance.
President back tracking on his own comments
It must also be remembered that after the immense pressure he faced from all quarters for not naming White Supremacists as being responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, the President had issued a statement, later on, some two days after the attack. He had mentioned, among other groups, white supremacists, and clearly stated that America will not stand with any such groups that promote hate. However, yesterday's quick silver switch back to his first statement about both sides being to blame has undone all the good work.
Causing confusion among Republicans
The president was clearly not going according to the script when he reverted back to his original stance because his team was rather obviously discomfited by the impromptu press conference that he ended up giving. Later on, some Republicans did continue to try and defend what their President had said but for others, it was a too much to take. The feeling that Trump had started a fire that could take long to bring under control was quite widespread even among Republicans.
It is an interesting fact that Trump has a history of avoiding laying the blame on white nationalists no matter how clear their involvement in inappropriate activities may be. This reversal of his earlier stance from a clear condemnation of White supremacy is just another example of his unwillingness to do so. The President's repute has taken yet another hit in this situation and this is not the last one it will have to take, it appears.