After President Donald Trump's inflammatory press conference Tuesday, the administration made sure all of their surrogates got in line to support his stance that "both sides" were to blame for the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. An email reportedly containing talking points was obtained by The Atlantic, and spells out how surrogates and allies were expected to give glowing reviews of his comments.
It begins: "The President was entirely correct—both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately," echoing Trump's message that both the Unite the Right (and white nationalist) protesters as well as the counter-protestors were to blame.
A few points reiterated Trump's constant criticism of the press. "The media reacted with hysteria to the notion that counter-protesters showed up with clubs spoiling for a fight, a fact that reporters on the ground have repeatedly stated," a talking point read. "We should not overlook the facts just because the media finds them inconvenient."
However, they ended a call to action for a more harmonious relationship between media and the administration: "Leaders and the media in our country should join the president in trying to unite and heal our country rather than incite more division."
Of course, most people listening to Trump Tuesday had a very different take-away. Everyone from celebrities to Republican politicians heavily criticized POTUS on Twitter for walking back his condemnation of white supremacists.
And people were shocked at the administration's apparent demand for unanimous support spelled out in the talking points.