On Sunday’s State of the Union, CNN’s Jake Tapper appeared to claim that “white supremacists” were a sizeable share of President Donald Trump’s base of political support, and that the President's multiple responses to the events last weekend in Charlottesville might have been the result of trying to please factions of his political base.
Speaking with Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) — a frequent guest on State of the Union — about the unrest in Virginia, Tapper wrapped his innuendo up in the form of a question.
Watch the moment below:
Tapper suggests to Kasich that Trump's reticence in forming a strong response to the events in Charlottesville, which left one woman dead when one of the Charlotesville rally attendees drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, might be because he's afraid of alienating "his base."
TAPPER: Well, governor, I think one of the issues is that there are a lot of people in the middle, on the left, even on the right who are very troubled because they believe President Trump has difficulty condemning white supremacists.
Why do you think he does seem to have this issue? Do you think he's concerned about alienating bigots because they might be a part of his base?
KASICH: Well, look, I didn't see all of his reaction yesterday to the rally in Boston, which was very uplifting. The police were fantastic in the way they handled it. There were so many protesters saying we reject hate.
And my understanding is the president came out and praised people, praised the police, praised the fact that the radicals were really marginalized and that those who marched for against hate, he praised. So, look, I think it's all, Jake, about people getting to him and explaining to him we've got to bring the country together. And blaming one side or another when we're talking about the KKK or white supremacist, there is no comparison between these hate groups and everybody else.
So, I feel positive about what he had to say about Boston from what I understand in the news reports.
Kasich, who has been a frequent critic of Trump, stepped in to praise the president's recent praise of the peaceful left-wing “protesters … speaking out against bigotry and hate" in Boston Saturday:
Tapper went on to suggest there could be a link between Trump's upcoming Tuesday rally in Phoenix, AZ, to recent unrest in Charlottesville, asking Kasich whether he had any "concerns" about the president's forthcoming event.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.