Usually quick to comment, Trump suddenly at a loss for words in response to Charlottesville violence

President Trump built his public persona on a willingness to comment, often provocatively, on any topic, any time, wooing supporters as the one public figure who would “tell it like it is.”

Saturday, faced with deadly violence during a second day of neo-Nazi marches in a quiet, Virginia college town, Trump seemed uncharacteristically tongue-tied.

As elected officials and other prominent people from across the political spectrum rushed to condemn white supremacists who marched with torches and Confederate flags in Charlottesville, Va., on Friday night, Trump remained silent. His reticence continued into Saturday, after police shut down the rally because of the violence.

Only after his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, turned to Twitter for what was only her sixth comment on a public issue since the inauguration — “let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence,” she wrote — did the president make his own initial comment.