"He's allowed fascism, he's allowed the KKK, he's allowed Nazis to show their ugly face, and we're here to remind him there's a cost for that."
By Jake Johnson
On the heels of President Donald Trump's "unhinged" press conference Tuesday, filmmaker Michael Moore arranged for buses to transport the audience of his broadway show "The Terms of My Surrender" to Trump Tower to protest the president's defense of white supremacists and mourn the death of Heather Heyer.
Joining the demonstration was actor and activist Mark Ruffalo, who delivered a speech slamming Trump for enabling and empowering neo-Nazis, whose actions over the weekend culminated in deadly violence.
"We're here today to commemorate a life of an American that was killed by a Nazi on American soil," Ruffalo said. "Let's say her name so Donald Trump can hear what's happened here. He's allowed these people, he's allowed fascism, he's allowed the KKK, he's allowed Nazis to show their ugly face, and we're here to remind him there's a cost for that. Americans have died because of that. Say her name: Heather Heyer."
Many characterized Trump's unscripted press conference as a display of the president's "real" views, in contrast to the more measured tone of his speech on Monday, in which Trump specifically denounced white supremacists for the first time.
In his Tuesday remarks, Trump returned to blaming "both sides" for the violence over the weekend while insisting that there were many "good people" among the neo-Nazis who participated in the so-called "Unite the Right" rally on Saturday.
Moore said during Tuesday night's demonstration, which took place alongside the protests that kicked off earlier in the day as Trump returned to New York, that the press conference "really showed me that this guy is not just crazy—he has an agenda, and he's mad that he said what they made him say, and he walked it all back."
In an interview on CNN following the protest, Moore elaborated on his reaction to the president's remarks. When asked by host Don Lemon if he believes Trump is a racist, Moore responded without hesitation.
"He's absolutely a racist," Moore said. "He's not as stupid as people want to believe he is. He knows exactly what he's doing, he knows the words to use."
Moore went on to say "we cannot any longer mealy-mouth about this."
"America has to stand up," he declared.
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