NPR’s Dwane Brown talks with Rich Lowry, editor of The National Review, about Republicans’ discomfort with President Trump espousing views commonly found in Breitbart News, a right-wing media outlet.
DWANE BROWN, HOST:
We’ve been talking about the news of the week and the fallout in the Trump administration as a result. He was criticized heavily all week for his both-sides comments in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va. Today, the president did come out with positive tweets of support to the counterprotesters who showed up to face a free speech rally, saying, quote, “I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate.”
Still, the daily breaking news, staffing surprises, off-script speeches have some questioning how effective he can be as America’s top leader. We’re joined now by Rich Lowry, who recently wrote about this. He’s the editor of the National Review, and he’s been an outspoken critic of President Trump. We reached him in New York.
RICH LOWRY: Hi, how are you doing?
BROWN: Doing well. Earlier this week, you wrote that the White House is at a turning point of sorts with the president squarely aligning himself with the right-wing publication Breitbart News, which has fueled the growth of the alt-right in America. Now, White House strategist and former Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon leaves the White House to return to Breitbart. First, do you welcome his dismissal?
LOWRY: I think it’s a mixed bag. There are issues where I’m with him and think he had a good influence on the president, for instance, on immigration. There are others where I’m not, especially trade and foreign policy. If – you know, if it were six months ago, I might say this is part of a momentous development in the fight for President Trump’s soul. But it’s meaningful, but I don’t think that significant now that we have a clear picture of what’s going on.