I think Donald Trump is lying.
When he says, “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” the words stand in stark contrast to the president’s actions.
Trump’s campaign, his presidency, and his business career have been marked by examples of racism. From a Justice Department lawsuit that accused Trump and his father of housing discrimination, to a years-long smear campaign to try to delegitimize the nation’s first black president, to bringing the so-called alt-right into the White House in the person of Steve Bannon, Trump has repeatedly shown that he is comfortable with racism as long as it meets his ends.
That’s why Trump’s repudiation of racism rings false, even in the wake of the horrific violence that left three dead in Charlottesville, Va., this weekend. Like all of us, the president saw torch-bearing white supremacists protest the removal of Confederate symbols.
But unlike the rest of us, Trump saw one thing more. He saw his supporters. When he was forced to confront that awful truth, he lied. Here’s how.