Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is a frequent critic of Donald Trump. But on Tuesday, he offered a rebuke of the president that was strong even for him.
“As a Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment. This is not my President,” Schatz tweeted, in reaction to a press conference in which Trump once again blamed “both sides” for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
In his tweet, Schatz borrowed a phrase popularized by the grassroots political resistance movements that have sprung up since Trump’s election last year. In February, for example, thousands of people took to the streets in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere to mark “Not My Presidents Day” on the Presidents Day federal holiday.
It’s not uncommon for sitting lawmakers to express their disagreement with a president. But rarely do they question a president’s legitimacy in such a direct way.
During a press conference in New York on Tuesday, Trump seemed to walk back the previous day’s condemnation of white nationalist groups, including neo-Nazis and the KKK.
“You had a group on one side who was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now,” Trump said Tuesday.
“You have people who are very fine people on both sides,” he added.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also reacted to the president’s press conference on Twitter, calling his words “sick.”