Breakfast Briefing, 8.14.2017: The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Monday morning

President Donald Trump's statement blaming "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday received condemnation from across the political spectrum this weekend.

The statement
President Donald Trump’s vague-at-best response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday has drawn widespread condemnation. Speaking from his country club in New Jersey, Trump blamed actors on "many sides" for the violence and did not single out white supremacist groups. One person died after a car rammed a group of counter-protesters, and two state police officers died after a helicopter crash.

The response
Trump’s comments caused an uproar among politicians left, right, and center, including many members of his own party who indicated his condemnations were mistargeted. White House aides, speaking on a not-for-attribution basis, tried to clarify Trump’s comments to members of the media on Sunday, claiming his statement "of course…includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups." Vice President Mike Pence mostly blamed the media on Sunday night for focusing on Trump’s response. White supremacists posting on the internet took Trump’s comments as a victory.

What’ll happen next
Under pressure to say more about Saturday’s events, Trump could expand on his remarks this afternoon when he’s expected to appear in front of cameras for a signing ceremony, according to Axios.

The Mooch gets it
Anthony Scaramucci, on the first leg of his press tour after his short and stormy tenure as White House communications director, said on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday morning that Trump was too soft on white nationalists in his Saturday statement. Scaramucci also criticized White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, saying Trump "has to move away from that sort of Bannon-bart nonsense."

Brands speak out
To be clear, Saturday’s events are much bigger than a "brand story." However, several companies whose names or images were dragged into the story spoke out this weekend. NHL team the Detroit Red Wings threatened legal action against anti-immigration protesters who used the club’s colors and logo. Tiki Brand spoke out against the use of its Tiki Torches by marching white supremacists on Friday night. GoDaddy announced it will no longer provide services to neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, according to BuzzFeed.

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