The View Challenges Dan Crenshaw for Defending Trump on Charlottesville: ‘Why Do You Apologize for Him?’

The View Challenges Dan Crenshaw for Defending Trump on Charlottesville: ‘Why Do You Apologize for Him?’

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) found himself on the defensive on The View when he defended Donald Trump’s statements that some of the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville almost two years ago were “very fine people.”

It started with Meghan McCain deciding now was a good time to resurrect the month-old controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s “some people did something” statement in reference to the 9/11 attacks during a speech on the loss of civil rights for Muslim Americans in the wake of those attacks. Crenshaw had publicly criticized her at the time.

“Why do you think Democrats have been so reluctant to call her out,” McCain asked Crenshaw, ignoring that all the ways Republicans did so resulted in increased death threats to Omar and her family.

Crenshaw responded with some gobbledygook about Democrats “playing a team sport,” by which he meant that they would not criticize someone on their own team, even if they disagreed with her. Or possibly Democrats understood the broader context of Omar’s statements, which had to be pointed out to Crenshaw later.

First, though, Joy Behar tried to explain the difference between a first-term congresswoman and the President of the United States defending white supremacists with his “good people on both sides” comments after the riots in Charlottesville in August of 2017. Crenshaw tried to claim Trump also specifically said Trump was “not referring to white nationalists,” which led Behar to ask, “Why do you apologize for him?”

“You have to read what he actually said,” Crenshaw shot back, which is the exact same critique one could make about his criticism of Omar.

Trump has claimed that the “good people” he referred to on the white nationalist side were the ones who were in Charlottesville simply to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. The problem with his defense, which has been noted clearly and extensively, is that none of the protestors were there for that. The “Unite the Right” march was always explicitly advertised as a far-right event for racists and white supremacists. Protesting a statue’s removal from a park was never, ever part of the reason for the gathering.

Sunny Hostin then tried pointing out to Crenshaw that there was a wider context to Omar’s comments. Crenshaw admitted that he had no problem with her broader point, but just felt the “some people did something” remark was “dismissive in tone.”

Whoopi Goldberg tried to suggest that maybe we should try listening to Omar, who is the first Muslim woman to serve in the House of Representatives and may have views on these issues that don’t align with the dominant narrative that Crenshaw buys into. He tried to respond, but McCain cut him off to go to commercial break.

Watch the segment up top, via ABC.


Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.