Paul Ryan calls Trump statements on Charlottesville 'morally ambiguous'

By
August 22, 2017 12:42

"I do think he could've done better. I think he needed to do better," the speaker said.

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Paul Ryan

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan . (photo credit:REUTERS)

In a town hall meeting aired on CNN Monday night, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan condemned statements made by US President Donald Trump in the wake of the Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally.

The town hall meeting was held in Racine, Wisconsin — the second largest city in the district that Ryan represents. The audience was made up of Ryan's constituents.

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Eric Kramer, a financial analyst, stood up and asked Ryan if he was "willing to come out and forcefully condemn Trump's statement such as Bob Corker and Mitt Romney (other Republican politicians) have?"

Ryan responded, saying that he talked to Trump earlier about the "need for moral clarity." He then called the speech Trump made on August 14, two days after the Charlottesville rally, "pitch perfect."

Getting to the question at hand, Ryan conceded that Trump "messed up" during his August 15 infrastructure press conference when Trump stated that 'very fine people were marching' at the rally.

"He made comments that were much more morally ambiguous, much more confusing," Ryan said. "And I do think he could've done better. I think he needed to do better."

Host Jake Tapper challenged Ryan's contention that Trump was being morally ambiguous.

"It wasn't morally ambiguous, it was morally wrong," Tapper said.

Ryan agreed, confirming that "it was not only morally ambiguous, it was equivocating, and that was wrong."

"I have a hard time believing that if you're standing in a crowd to protest something and you see all these antisemitic slogans and the 'Heil Hitlers' and the swastikas that you're a good person. You're not a good person if you're there," Ryan further stated.

Ryan concluded by saying that "we all have a lot more to do" in regards to fighting antisemitism and racism in the United States.

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