Four Pinocchios for Donnie

Trump said at that scarifying q and a on Tuesday that the counter-protesters didn’t have a permit. He was lying.

“You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent. . . . You had a lot of people in that [white nationalist] group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know — I don’t know if you know — they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit.”
— President Trump, remarks during a news conference on infrastructure, Aug. 15, 2017

In blaming both sides for the violence in Charlottesville that left one person dead, President Trump twice asserted that the people protesting white supremacists and neo-Nazis lacked a permit, unlike the groups that gathered to protest the possible removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

But that’s turned out to be false, according to documents and interviews obtained by our Washington Post colleague Justin Wm. Moyer.

Walt Heinecke, a professor at the University of Virginia, told Moyer that he received a “special events certificate of approval” for events at McGuffey Park and Justice Park — sites blocks from Emancipation Park, where white nationalists had a permit for a Saturday rally.

Fourth Street, where Fields slammed his car into all those protesters, runs alongside Justice Park.

But anyway they didn’t need permits.

Charlottesville spokeswoman Miriam I. Dickler told Moyer that only one permit was issued for Emancipation Park — the one received by white nationalists staging the “Unite the Right” rally. However, counterprotesters did not need permits to protest that rally, she said.

“Please bear in mind that people do not need a permit to enter a public park, even when another event is scheduled to take place there, nor are they required to have one to be on streets or sidewalks adjacent to or outside the park,” Dickler said in an email.

Trump also said the fascists at U-Va Friday night protested “very quietly.” Not so much.

On Friday night, about 250 white nationalists carrying torches marched and chanted anti-Semitic slogans on the U-Va. campus, where they encountered about 30 students who had locked arms around the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, according to a Washington Post timeline. Brief clashes took place, resulting in some injuries. U-Va. allows access to open spaces, and so permits were not required for such marches, according to a statement by U-Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan condemning the “intimidating and abhorrent behavior displayed by the alt-right protestors.”

Carrying torches (yes even tiki torches from Wal-Mart) chanting “Jews will not replace us” is not “very quietly.”

The Pinocchio Test

President Trump twice claimed that counterprotesters lacked a permit to demonstrate in Charlottesville. But they did have permits for rallies on Saturday — and they did not need one to go into or gather near Emancipation Park, where white nationalists scheduled their rally. No permits were needed to march on the U-Va. campus on Friday night. The president earns Four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios


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