President Pledges to New Approach to Afghanistan

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President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer in Arlington Va., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, during a Presidential Address to the Nation about a strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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President Donald Trump used a speech ostensibly focused on his decision about the future of America’s role in Afghanistan to issue a call for unity and healing in the United States, a clear attempt to patch over the damage caused by his repeated unwillingness to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis following their violent protests in Charlottesville.

“A wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all,” Trump said at the start of his address — his first prime-time broadcast on a specific policy issue since being elected President last November. “When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. And when one citizen suffers an injustice we all suffer together.” That tone was a stunning turnaround from Trump’s language just six days ago when, at a press availability at Trump Tower, he berated the media and liberals — insisting that “both sides” were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville.

Trump — like most politicians — will never admit he was (or is) wrong. But Trump — unlike most politicians — tends to double down on bad bets rather than trying to limit his losses. He spent all of last week doubling down on Charlottesville. But in his speech on Monday night, Trump tacitly acknowledged that the only way out of the pit he has created for himself on the Virginia protests is to stop digging.

Watch the full speech here:

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