Fox’s Shep Smith: We couldn’t find a Republican willing to come on and defend Trump
Fox News host Shepard Smith said Wednesday that the network tried and failed to get a Republican on-air to defend President Trump’s controversial comments on violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend
“Our booking team — and they’re good — reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today,” Smith said on his show “Shepard Smith Reporting.”
“Let’s be honest, Republicans don’t often really mind coming on Fox News Channel. We couldn’t get anyone to come and defend him here because we thought, in balance, someone should do that,” he continued.
“We worked very hard at it throughout the day, and we were unsuccessful. And of those who are condemning the president’s condemnable actions, I’ve not heard any prominent leaders, former presidents, members of the House or the Senate use his name while speaking in generalities,” he said.
Smith’s comments followed an off-the-rails press conference by Trump on Tuesday, during which he reasserted claims that “both sides” were to blame for violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday that ultimately left one dead and at least 19 others injured.
“You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest,” Trump said, referring to individuals protesting against the removal of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in the town.
“Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch.”
Various Republicans have spoken out against white supremacy and bigotry following Trump’s press briefing.
“We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tweeted after Trump’s remarks.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying the U.S. must reject hatred in all forms.