ThinkProgress

Republican Fox & Friends pundit, overcome with emotion, says he can’t defend Trump anymore

CREDIT: Fox & Friends/Screenshot

Gianno Caldwell, a Republican pundit, was skeptical of Donald Trump’s original run for president, but he came to be one of Trump’s most outspoken supporters. During an interview Wednesday morning on Fox News about President Trump’s outrageous press conference, his outlook changed dramatically.

Caldwell was identified as a Republican political analyst, and he was introduced to the segment with a question about the “good people on both sides of the debate” about the fate of Confederate statues, but he did not take the bait. “I come today with a very heavy heart,” he started. “Last night, I couldn’t sleep at all because President Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country.”

Caldwell started to tear up as he continued to speak:

The very moral fabric in which we’ve made progress when it comes to race relations in America? He’s failed us, and it’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday when he says, ‘There are good people on the side of the Nazis. They weren’t all Nazis and they weren’t all white supremacists.’ Mr. President, good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe they don’t consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis, but certainly they hold those views. This has become very troubling and for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday is completely lost and the potential to be morally bankrupt. I’m sorry — no, I believe that and I’m being very honest as one who has been talking about these issues for a very long time. I’m sorry that this is where we are right now. I hope the president learns a lesson from his press conference on yesterday. It’s disturbing.

Host Abby Huntsman tried to steer the conversation back to monuments, but Caldwell continued to lambast Trump for failing to be a moral leader on issues of race.

At Trump’s fiery press conference Tuesday, he blamed “both sides” for violence in Charlottesville, including the “alt-left,” a term that seems to have been invented by Fox News’ Sean Hannity and used by conservatives over the past week to demonize liberals. Trump established a moral equivalency between the white supremacists and the counter-protesters who responded to their gathering. He even defended the “very fine” people he thought were there to simply protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederate Army’s fight to preserve slavery. White nationalists were thrilled by what he said.

Caldwell’s response to the conference was a significant shift from his usual support for the president.

Following his appearance Wednesday morning, his Twitter feed looked a bit different.

https://twitter.com/GiannoCaldwell/status/897793525978251264