It’s always risky when a major business takes a political stance, and when they do, you know it’s for something they feel passionately about. And that appeared to be the nature of the Walmart CEO’s strong statement about President Trump on Monday.
On its corporate site, the CEO of the world’s largest company by revenue spoke to his employees and addressed Trump’s first two statements regarding the clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.
“As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,” Doug McMillion wrote. “His remarks today were a step in the right direction and we need that clarity and consistency in the future.”
He went on to stress the importance of elected leaders following the lead of his company in promoting diversity and tolerance, Oddly enough, though, a search of his corporate site revealed no previous condemnations of leftist Antifa violence, destructive Black Lives Matter riots, increased attacks on police officers, and Islamic terrorism. It was Trump’s remarks that drove McMillion to break his political silence.
Trump, though, was not silent when on Tuesday evening he spoke about the riots a third time, and this time he sent the mainstream media into an absolute frenzy. The New York Times, in an non-editorial piece that belies any notion of objectivity in their reporting, shared some of Trump’s words.
Speaking to a gaggle of reporters, Trump pointed out the left-wing Antifa’s violent actions as well at the rally, which centered around the removal of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.
“I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now,” Trump stated as reporters howled in protest.
He further pointed out the complexity of the clash, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
While clearly not condoning any violence the neo-Nazis committed, which resulted in brutal death and injury, he pointed out that the “alt-left” Antifa members were “very, very violent,” too. He added that the people protesting the Confederate statue’s removal started as a peaceful rally with a proper permit. Then Antifa came onto the scene without a permit and were “swinging clubs” and “charging” at the “alt-right” demonstrators.
Trump also expressed displeasure at Lee’s statue being removed in the first place, asking reporters, “Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington [who owned slaves] next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Meanwhile, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate is grabbing nation attention by suggesting the removal of Confederate symbols hasn’t gone nearly far enough. She’s now demanding the destruction a massive state landmark that draws millions of visitors a year.