WASHINGTON (AP) — Under intense pressure, members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet are struggling with whether to rebuke or defend him when he makes hard-to-defend comments such as his response to white nationalism in Charlottesville.
Some seek their distance, delicately taking issue with his remarks. Others decide it’s safer to stand by him. Most would rather say nothing at all.
Though the friction has been building for months, Trump’s polarizing response to Charlottesville was a catalyst. The fallout has continued to dog his administration more than two weeks later.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the latest administration member forced to take a position in a TV interview. He emphasized that the State Department and the American people hold values that are clear. But he also said that Trump “speaks for himself.”