Biden gets into heated exchange with Breitbart reporter over Trump’s response to white nationalism

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday got into a heated confrontation with a reporter from the right-wing news outlet Breitbart after Biden gave a speech accusing President Trump of inspiring deadly hate crimes by embracing white nationalist extremism.

Video from the scene shows Breitbart’s Joel Pollak confronting Biden at the Iowa State Fair and accusing him of ignoring Trump’s condemnation of white supremacists.

“[Trump] said specifically that he was condemning [white supremacists],” Pollack said.

“No, he did not,” Biden responded. “He walked out and he said, let’s get this straight, he said there were ‘very fine people’ in both groups. They were chanting anti-Semitic slogans, carrying flags.”

{mosads}Biden was referring to Trump’s remarks after violent protests at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., left one woman dead. At the time, the president said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protests.

In a speech on Thursday, Biden blamed Trump for a recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, and for other recent racially and politically inspired attacks, saying Trump had “fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation.”

The president on Monday gave a speech from the White House condemning white supremacy.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn bigotry, hatred and white supremacy,” Trump said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”

But Biden said that Trump did not believe the words that he said.

“His low energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week, I don’t think fooled anyone at home or abroad,” Biden said.

Biden specifically pointed to the president’s remarks after Charlottesville as evidence of how he had been sympathetic to white nationalists.

“When he said after Charlottesville that there were, quote, ‘very fine people on both sides,’ he gave license and safe harbor for hate to white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK,” Biden said. “Those words stunned the nation and shocked the world. In doing so, he assigned a moral equivalence between those spewing hate and those with the courage to stand against it. I said at the time we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. I said it again when I announced. And I say it here today.”

Some Trump supporters have since made the case that the president’s words were taken out of context and that he was not describing the white nationalists as “very fine people.”

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