Charlottesville: 'Donald Trump's trying to distract from his losing hand,' says academic

Charlottesville: 'Donald Trump's trying to distract from his losing hand,' says academic

Dr Simon Radford spoke to Julia about the US president's press conference in New York on Tuesday

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A leading academic in US politics has claimed Donald Trump is trying to distract the media from a story which is not showing him in a good light.

In a press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, the US President backtracked on his original comments on the Charlottesville incident, where one woman died after a car was rammed into anti-fascists protesting a far-right gathering. 

He insisted there was violence on both sides, notably condemning a "very violent" alt-left, while equating Robert E Lee - the Confederate general whose statue was that the heart of the Charlottesville dispute - with Thomas Jefferson.

Dr Simon Radford, who works for the University of Southern California, said his rhetoric of "violence on both sides" is merely a ploy to distract from his performance.

He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "I think it’s something he’s trying to use to distract from a story which I think he thinks has not played to his benefit.

"Distraction is a good policy when you’re on a losing hand.

"The idea that a couple of extreme anti-fascists and a whole lot of white supremacists [are comparable] is a terrible thing to say.

"Being in the middle between civil rights and white supremacy is not an admirable position to take."

Listen above.

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