White House says Trump Charlottesville condemnation included 'white supremacists'

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

A young woman was killed and 19 people were injured Saturday when a vehicle plowed into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia after the rally, which had ignited bloody clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters.

Neo-nazis descended into the city on Friday (11Aug17) night to protest the removal of a statue representing Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who served the pro-slavery South of the country during the U.S. Civil War until surrendering in 1865 when the pro-emancipation North won the battle. Television images showed police in riot gear among the crowd, and some of the protesters chanted anti-Semitic slogans. Two Virginia state patrol troopers later died in a helicopter crash while assisting in the city's response to the protests.

"I'm sure you will hear from the president more about this", he said on NBC's "Meet the Press". He also said "there is no place for this kind of violence in America". He just said the nation should come together.

The GOP's elected leadership has largely followed Trump's lead, having played similar roles during the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, two forerunners in utilizing racially coded words - "law and order" and "welfare queens" - that signaled to white voters their views on race matters without resorting to the coarser language of old-school segregationists.

But he added: "I think we can confidently call it a form of terrorism".

Some of his most ardent supporters included members of the so-called "alt-right", postmodern white supremacists who dream of building a white ethno-racial state free of people of color, civil rights, feminism, and religious freedoms that, in their minds, have corrupted American democracy. Senator John McCain of Arizona said Saturday's events marked "a confrontation between our better angels and our worst demons".

Pressed again on why Trump had not spoken out against white supremacy, Gardner demurred, saying "If he doesn't do that, then we can continue to answer the question of why".

Mr Trump condemned violence by "many sides" - but stopped short of explicitly condemning the far-right.

Graham's comments on Fox News Sunday came one day after a man plowed a auto into a group of people protesting the presence of white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring almost 20 people. "We must all come together as Americans - and be one country UNITED".

Bossert's claim that condemning white supremacy groups in those terms would "dignify" them rang hollow in light of Trump's fixation on using one particular term for a different kind of violence.

"You know, I don't want to make this too much about Donald Trump".

According to media reports, chanting by the white supremacists at times targeted Jews and named the town's Jewish mayor, Mike Signer. Nothing specific against us.

On Saturday, a vehicle smashed into an anti-white supremacy demonstration in Charlottesville, killing one protester and injuring 19 others. Arrested for second-degree murder and other charges was 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio.

"I think you've belabored it, so let me say I condemn white supremacists, and Nazis, and groups that favor this type of exclusion", he said.

"You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups", said the statement, given to reporters covering Trump as he vacations in Bedminster, N.J.

"I would urge the president to dissuade them of the fact that he's sympathetic to their cause because their cause is hate", Graham said.

The White House would not attach a staffer's name to the statement.

The Congressional Black Caucus tweeted that Trump's "false equivalency, dog whistles are sad". But, as the Anti-Defamation League wrote on its website, the Charlottesville scene was "the largest and most violent gathering of white supremacists in decades". "There are no other "sides" to hatred and bigotry".

Trump first tweeted about the violence in Charlottesville Saturday afternoon. "No good comes from violence".

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