Trump says more ‘hate’ at student protests than Charlottesville

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Trump says more ‘hate’ at student protests than Charlottesville

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Pro-Palestinian students and activists gather at a protest encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York City on April 25, 2024. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, April 26 — Donald Trump yesterday condemned pro-Palestinian protests sweeping US colleges, saying the level of “hate” on display was far worse than during an infamous, deadly rally by right-wing extremists in Charlottesville in 2017.

“We’re having protests all over,” Trump told reporters as he left the Manhattan courtroom where he is standing trial on charges of falsifying business records.

“Charlottesville was a little peanut, and it was nothing compared — and the hate wasn’t the kind of hate that you have here, this is tremendous hate,” he said.

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, brought torch-bearing white nationalists together from all over the country.

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It culminated in an avowed white supremacist driving a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 other people.

President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign responded to Trump’s comments Thursday by posting video footage from the Charlottesville rally, showing torch-wielding “neo-Nazis and KKK members” chanting “Jews will not replace us!”.

Trump infamously took 48 hours to respond to the violence, and then only said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protests, drawing widespread criticism.

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Biden has often told the story of how he came out of retirement to run for president in 2020 after Trump refused to clearly denounce the rally at Charlottesville.

During their first debate, in September of that year, Trump infuriated many Americans by once again declining to denounce white supremacist groups.

Instead, speaking out to the right-wing nationalist group called the Proud Boys, he told them to “stand back and stand by.”

The group celebrated its mention by the president by adopting those words as part of a new logo — underscoring fears that white supremacists were taking tacit encouragement from Trump’s failure to unequivocally condemn their ideology.

Two days later, under pressure to explain himself, Trump said he did in fact condemn all white supremacists.

Trump spoke Thursday as pro-Palestinian protests spread to more college campuses in the United States. Students are staging occupations over the growing human toll of Israel’s war with Hamas.

Biden, who has made clear his support for Israel even as he urges its leader to allow greater access to aid for Palestinians, has backed the students’ right to free speech. — AFP pic

Biden, who has made clear his support for Israel even as he urges its leader to allow greater access to aid for Palestinians, has backed the students’ right to free speech. — AFP pic

Hundreds have been arrested so far as universities and police crack down.

Biden, who has made clear his support for Israel even as he urges its leader to allow greater access to aid for Palestinians, has backed the students’ right to free speech. — AFP

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