Trump doesn't rebuke white nationalists in Charlottesville speech


President Trump called for “love” and unity in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., but offered no rebuke to the white nationalist provocateurs or the driver who intentionally plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said Saturday at his country club in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump had not previously spoken about the clashes in Charlottesville on Saturday morning, which came after a Friday night rally by neo-Nazis marching through the historic University of Virginia campus with torches and Nazi garb.

Trump, speaking at his country club in New Jersey, said

Trump, speaking at his country club in New Jersey, said “many sides” are to blame for the violence.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

But the President was moved to address the nation about two hours after the driver of a silver Dodge Charger sped directly into a crowd of marchers, killing one and injuring more than a dozen.

White nationalist rally in Virginia triggers state of emergency

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe didn’t mince words later Saturday when he told white nationalists, “There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.”

“So please, go home and never come back,” the Democrat continued. “Take your hatred and your bigotry.”

Trump blamed all sides for the hatred that “has been going on for a long time in our country.”

“Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama,” he added. “It has been going on for a long, long time.”

One dead after car hits protesters at Va. white supremacist rally

The President appeared surprised by the timing of the violence, given his belief that the economy is thriving and the country “is doing so well in so many ways.”

sending on spec

Clashes broke out early Saturday amid the white nationalist demonstrations.

(Go Nakamura/New York Daily News)

“So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very sad,” Trump said.

He did not seem to draw a distinction between the racist and homophobic neo-Nazis and the counter-protesters.

“We are all Americans first,” he said. “We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag. We’re proud of our country.” He also called upon Americans to “cherish our history,” though some critics said the phrase was a shout-out to the white supremacists, who, after all, were gathering in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

VIDEO: White nationalists march through UVA with torches

A silver Dodge Charger plowed into a crowd of people and other cars, killing one and injuring more than a dozen people.

A silver Dodge Charger plowed into a crowd of people and other cars, killing one and injuring more than a dozen people.

(Go Nakamura/New York Daily News)

His failure to single out the fascists was condemned.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring tweetedthat the “violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of ‘many sides.’ It is racists and white supremacists.”

Even Republicans condemned the President’s failure to condemn the driver.

“This is nothing short of domestic terrorism & should be named as such,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said in the first of two tweets.

Former KKK leader David Duke attended the rally and mentioned the President as an inspiration.

The demonstration, he said, is “to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”

Tags:
donald trump
virginia
university of virginia
racial injustice
nazis
ku klux klan
david duke
richard spencer
charlottesville protests
mitch mcconnell
obamacare

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