- White House suggests ESPN fire anchor who called Trump a ‘white supremacist’
- Thousands of demonstrators turn out in San Francisco to denounce white supremacists
- Hundreds of demonstrators turn out in San Francisco to denounce white supremacists
- Leading Republicans call on Donald Trump to denounce white supremacists after Charlottesville
- President Trump Stands By Original Charlottesville Remarks
After blaming Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville on “many sides” and failing to explicitly condemn white supremacists, President Trump quickly drew fire from leading Republicans who demanded he be more blunt, forceful, and presidential in his response.
“Mr. President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado Republican, tweeted early Saturday evening.
Sen. Orrin Hatch also took direct aim at the president’s response.
“We must call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home,” the Utah Republican tweeted Saturday night.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, and other Republicans also specifically condemned “white nationalism” and “white supremacists” in their posts, while a host of others, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said the events in Charlottesville amounted to “domestic terrorism.”
“These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail,” Mr. Cruz said.
At least one person as killed Saturday during the chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a car rammed into a crowd of anti-racism counter-protesters. The identity of the victim, reportedly a 32-year-old woman, wasn’t immediately released.
The driver, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with second degree murder.
The demonstrations were planned as a protest against the removal of a statue Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but the event quickly drew thousands of white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. Virginia officials, including Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, condemned the gathering and urged everyone to go home.
After violence broke out, Mr. Trump addressed the situation from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides,” he said, adding that the divisions on display in Charlottesville have been brewing for many years.
“Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama — it’s been going on for a long, long time,” the president said.
While Mr. Trump did mention bigotry and hatred, top Republicans said the president made a serious mistake in not calling out white supremacists by name, and by not describing the violence as an act of terrorism.
“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” Mr. Rubio tweeted after the president’s comments.
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