- (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
- Vice News interviewed Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist who helped lead the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally. Cantwell embraced violent tactics and predicted more violence. The extreme views he describes explain why so many are furious at President Trump over his Charlottesville response. Cantwell said he hoped for a leader who was “a lot more racist than Donald Trump” and who “does not give his daughter to a Jew”
On Monday, “Vice News Tonight” published a chilling 22-minute documentary featuring interviews with several of the white nationalists who helped lead the “Unite the Right” rally that devolved into violence and chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
Most prominently featured throughout the episode is Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist who provided an in-depth description of his beliefs and his movement’s goals at the rally to Vice correspondent Elle Reeves.
Cantwell offered racist critiques of black and Jewish people, confirmed that his movement was violent, and defended the killing of Heather Heyer – the 32-year-old woman fatally struck on Saturday by a driver identified as a white supremacist – as “justified.”
Cantwell’s comments provide a glimpse into the extremity of the views underpinning the “Unite the Right” rally – a point that critics of Trump have struggled to impress upon him.
Trump has not made a point of differentiating the white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis at the rally from the counterprotesters with whom they clashed on Saturday. On Tuesday, at a fiery press conference in New York City, he referred to counterprotesters as the “alt-left,” a term created by white nationalists that no specific group self-identifies under.
“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’?” Trump said Tuesday. “You had, you had a group on one side that 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.”
He added that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
- Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla
Trump’s equivalence between the actions of the white nationalists and those of the counterprotesters has drawn near-universal backlash by observers, including Republicans.
Vice’s documentary, including its interview with Cantwell, showed white nationalists at the rally openly embracing racism and violence in Charlottesville last weekend.
Hoping for a leader who is ‘a lot more racist than Donald Trump’ and who ‘does not give his daughter to a Jew’
At one point, Reeves asked whether Cantwell believed white people were capable of violence, to which Cantwell responded, “Of course we’re capable.”
“I’m carrying a pistol, I go to the gym all the time, I’m trying to make myself more capable of violence,” he said.
Cantwell even disputed Reeves’ suggested description of the movement as “nonviolent.”
“I’m not even saying we’re nonviolent,” he said. “I’m saying that f—— we did not aggress. We did not initiate force against anybody. We’re not nonviolent – we’ll f—— kill these people if we have to.”
At one point, Cantwell even said he hoped for a leader who was “a lot more racist than Donald Trump” and who “does not give his daughter to a Jew,” referring to the marriage between Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Jared Kushner.
“I don’t think that you could feel about race the way that I do and watch that Kushner b—— walk around with that beautiful girl, OK?” Cantwell said.
Later in the documentary, Cantwell predicted that “a lot more people are going to die before we’re done here.”
He continued: “This is part of the reason that we want an ethno-state. The blacks are killing each other in staggering numbers from coast to coast – we don’t really want a part of that anymore, and so the fact that they resist us when we say we want a homeland is not shocking to me. These people want violence, and the right is just meeting a market demand.”
Watch the full episode from Vice News below: