Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw on Wednesday said President Trump is facing an uphill battle in repairing a deflated country after he alienated many Americans just a day before when he reversed his direct condemnation of white supremacist groups.
“It would require presidential leadership of a higher order to bring the country together," Brokaw said on NBC's "Today" show.
"Does he come out and read some kind of a statement? That’s not going to be enough. He’s going to have to find a way to stitch the country back together again, and, frankly, I don’t know if he’s capable of that in his own mind."
"And now the question will be, how many members of his administration will feel that they have to leave because they can’t support those policies?" Brokaw asked.
The president defended his initial remarks about the deadly violence that took place in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend during a combative press conference from Trump Tower, telling reporters "both" white supremacist groups and counterprotesters are to blame for the brutality.
One man with ties to the white supremacist groups is accused of driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others.
Trump ignited further public backlash when he defended the white nationalist groups by saying not all protesters within the self-described pro-white crowd were not bad people, reasoning that some were there to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Trump first blamed "many sides" for their role in the violence on Saturday before directly condemning hate groups on Monday. His recent return to blaming "both sides" just a day later will likely fuel further outrage among his critics who say the president is failing to condemn racism so he can please the extremist followers within his base.