President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to applaud the people in Boston who he said were “speaking out” against bigotry and hate as they upstaged a small “free speech rally.”
“I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate,” he tweeted. “Our country will soon come together as one!”
But Trump also called on the nation to “heel” — twice. Oops.
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That tweet appeared to be quickly deleted, then posted again, then deleted again. Twitter users took quick screen grabs of it, of course.
Trump said the country had been “divided for decade, but will come together again. Sometimes protest is needed in order to heel, and heel we will!”
Then he tweeted the sentiment again, with a spelling correction.
The president was immediately corrected by Merriam-Webster and lampooned by critics, including Stephen King.
Trump has come under intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans for his response to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
He initially laid blame for the violence on “many sides” and walked away when reporters shouted questions about whether he specifically denounced white supremacism. After the backlash, he gave a scripted statement Monday that said racism was evil and called out the “KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups” as repugnant.
But in a news conference on infrastructure the following day, he again spoke about “blame on both sides.”
“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right’? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump asked reporters. “They came charging with clubs in their hands.”
The Tribune Washington bureau contributed to this report.