UK

Fox News Host Kat Timf Slams 'Disgusting' Donald Trump Over Latest Charlottesville Comments

'I’m wondering if it was actually real life what I just watched.'

16/08/2017 11:15 BST | Updated 16/08/2017 12:00 BST

A Fox News anchor has given an impassioned speech against Donald Trump’s latest “disgusting” failure to denounce white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville at the weekend.

Kat Timf and her co-hosts were visibly shocked after watching the US president’s latest press conference, in which he said that the “alt-left” was also partly to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.

His failure - again - to denounce the white supremacist march in Virginia, which led to the death of Heather Heyer after a car was driven into a group of anti-racist demonstrators, was too much for commentator Timf on Tuesday.

Responding to Trump’s latest press conference, she said:

“It’s honestly crazy for me to have to comment on this right now because I’m still in the phase where I’m wondering if it was actually real life what I just watched.

“It was one of the biggest messes that I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe it happened… He’s not measured in his criticism.

“He goes after people as soon as he has the inkling. For him to take 48 hours, that is something he has never done before.

“It shouldn’t be some kind of bold statement to say ‘yes, a gathering full of white supremacist Nazis doesn’t have good people in it. Those are all bad people, period.’

“And the fact that that’s controversial… I don’t know if I should laugh. I have too much eye makeup on to start crying right now. It’s disgusting.”

Fox News, traditionally a bastion of support for the beleaguered president, has seen an increasing number of anchors and commentators speak out against Trump.

Eboni K Williams, who is a colleague of Timpf on The Fox News Specialists, on Monday called Trump’s initially vague condemnation of Saturday’s bloody clashes “cowardly and dangerous”.

“In a moment where you could have been crystal clear where you stand on the issue of inclusion, standing up against white supremacy and domestic terrorism, you very intentionally chose to be ambiguous and equivocate,” she added.

Trump has faced repeated criticism for taking two days to condemn Neo Nazis and white supremacists behind violence at the deadly rally on Saturday.

Trump initially responded to events on Saturday by condemning violence “on both sides”.

On Monday, he finally specifically condemned Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists, only to later tweet his anger that this was not better received. 

But standing at the podium at Trump Tower on Tuesday, the US president said: 

  • Proudly told reporters he took so long to say Neo Nazis are bad because he wanted to “make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct”

  • Said the CEOs who quit a White House panel in protest at his Charlottesville response did so because they “are not taking their jobs seriously”

  • Suggested an “alt left” was as guilty of violence in Charlottesville as the Neo Nazis they were protesting, saying they had “clubs in their hands” and “came charging” in

  • Said both sides in Charlottesville - including remember, the one with Neo Nazis - included “very fine people”

  • Suggested it was wrong to remove statues of Confederates who fought to defend slavery - the issue the Far Right was ostensibly rallying about - because revered former presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson also owned slaves

  • Claiming race relations had improved or stayed the same in his time in office after being “frayed for a long time and you can ask Barack Obama about that”

  • Beamed while telling the press he owned a home in Charlottesville that was “one of the largest wineries in the United States”

  • Thanked the mother of the woman killed at Charlottesville for saying the “nicest things” about him after he eventually condemned white supremacists. He added: “If the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice”

Trump’s rhetoric since the violence has been celebrated by members of the far-right.

Ex-KKK leader David Duke said the US president’s performance on Tuesday showed “honesty and courage”.

Meanwhile, Theresa May faces renewed calls to cancel the president’s state visit to the United Kingdom.

It comes as senior Tories slammed Trump for his comments, with Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, saying he had “just turned his face to the world to defend Nazis, fascists and racists. For shame.”

Sajid Javid, the communities secretary tweeted: “Neo-Nazis: bad Anti-Nazis: good I learned that as a child. It was pretty obvious.”

And Sam Gyimah, the prisons minister, said Trump had lost “moral authority” for failing to condemn the far-right.

A number of Labour MPs demanded May’s offer of a visit with state honours for Trump be scrapped.

The timing of the visit has yet to be confirmed, but in July Trump said he “will be going to London”.