Graham: Trump’s Return To Blaming Both Sides Was ‘A Step Backward’

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., listens to witnesses testimony, during a Senate Appropriation Committee hearing on “Civil Society Perspectives on Russia” on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday said President Donald Trump’s return to equivocal rhetoric on the violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was “a step backward.”

“Mr. President, I encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in Charlottesville,” Graham said in a statement. “Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them.”

Graham said Trump’s remarks during an off-the-rails press conference on Tuesday suggested a “moral equivalency” between white supremacists and counter-protesters like Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into protesters.

“Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer,” Graham said. “I, along with many others, do not endorse this moral equivalency.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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