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Trump Demanded an Apology From ESPN, Is Still Talking About Those Antifa “Bad Dudes”

Earlier this week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked during a press conference for a comment on the tweets from ESPN’s Jemele Hill’s calling Donald Trump a white supremacist.

Sanders called the remarks a “fireable offense.” Marykate already broke down why that’s troubling, much more troubling than if ESPN had actually fired Hill. For a company to disapprove of Hill’s criticisms of the president and to fire her because of that is one thing. For the spokesperson of the president to call for or encourage her firing over criticisms of the president borders on unconstitutional.

Not one to be left out of a potential trampling of the First Amendment, Trump chimed in on Twitter this morning.

Yup, that’s the president, demanding an apology for a private citizen’s negative opinion of him, by attempting to intimidate her employer. Right in between bragging about doing more to fight ISIS than Obama and calling for an end to “CHAIN MIGRATION.” He had a productive morning.

Trump had a pretty big day yesterday, as well. First, while handing out sandwiches to those affected by Hurricane Irma, he pretended his hands were too big to fit into the rubber gloves. You know, like presidents do.

He also perpetuated the lie that President Obama ignored hurricane victims.

And then he topped it all off by once again trotting out his “both sides” argument about the Charlottesville violence.

Trump was speaking Thursday to reporters on Air Force One about a meeting he had with Republican Tim Scott. The day before, Scott, an African-American senator from South Carolina, visited the White House to talk to Trump about the rise of white supremacy.

Scott told the New York Times that he told Trump that the “both sides” argument only works from “a sterile perspective.”

“However, the real picture has nothing to do with who is on the other side,” he said. “It has to do with the affirmation of hate groups who over three centuries of this country’s history have made it their mission to create upheaval in minority communities as their reason for existence. I shared my thoughts of the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, Nazis. So there’s no way to find an equilibrium when you have three centuries of history versus the situation that is occurring today.”

The Times says that Trump “responded by repeatedly saying, ‘That makes sense,’ and concluded the meeting by telling the senator, ‘Let’s keep talking.’

In talking to those reporters yesterday, he makes it sound like he won Scott over to his “other side” way of thinking.

We had a great talk yesterday. I think especially in light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what’s going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said. Now, because of what’s happened since then with antifa—you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, “Gee, Trump might have a point.” I said, “You’ve got some very bad people on the other side also,” which is true.

Scott’s office responded that “there is no realistic comparison” between anti-racist protesters and the white supremacists who have been “have been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries.”

(image: Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.