President Donald Trump spent the bulk of his Tuesday night rally in Phoenix lying to a crowd that ate it up like deep-fried sticks of butter, but there was one moment, in particular, that was galling in its utter disrespect for any concept of decency.
Trump spent a good 20 minutes reading false and incomplete transcripts of his remarks following the white supremacist terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, and lying about the criticisms that were leveled against him. In one case, though, he blasphemed the name of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in the attack, and he did not even have the decency to remember her last name:
“But they also said that he must be a racist because he never mentioned the driver of the car, who is a terrible person, drove the car and he killed Heather, and it’s a terrible thing, but they said I didn’t mention it, so these are my words.”
I’m not even sure what Trump’s talking about, because if anyone criticized him for failing to talk about the driver of the car, it would have been during the first two sets of remarks in which he failed to do so. The quote he read was from his disastrous Tuesday press conference, at which he also said there were “fine people” among the white supremacist demonstrators. He didn’t read that part to his crowd.
But the fact he couldn’t even be bothered to remember Heyer’s last name tells you all you need to know about the sincerity of his condemnations.
Similarly, reliable Trump television surrogate Paris Dennard couldn’t be bothered to remember Heyer’s last name when he decided to push an audacious lie about her, and he got called out by CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday morning:
CUOMO: What about the good people? What about the good people who were marching with the KKK? You forgot them Paris. How come he didn’t mention them last night? All those good people, you know the ones who didn’t exist. What about them?
DENNARD: Well I don’t know, look, here’s the funny thing, Heather was there at the rally, and I think everyone can say that Heather was a good person.
CUOMO: You know he wasn’t talking about Heather Heyer, don’t even let those words be in your mouth right now, Paris. She was there protesting against bigotry. He was saying that there were good people there fighting to keep the statues up. He was saying there were good people with the KKK. Don’t bring Heather Heyer into this she, was on the other side, she was fighting against the Nazis, she was part of the ‘many sides’ problem that the president drew up. Don’t put her in the good people, that’s not who he was talking about, Paris.
This is yet another example of the absurd lengths to which Trump flacks will go in order to not just defend Trump, but to enrage decent people. No one at Trump’s rally was unaware of his lies, the entire point was to cheer him on because it would enrage people who oppose him, because they knew he was lying and loved it.
Dragging the late Heather Heyer into it is just part of the game for them, and so is forgetting her last name.