McMaster: Violence At Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally Was ‘Terrorism’

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster listens as President Donald Trump makes the announcement at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. McMaster will be the new national security adviser. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead and dozens of people injured was “terrorism.”

“Any time that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism,” McMaster said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

“It meets the definition of terrorism,” he added. “But what this is, what you see here, is you see someone who is a criminal, who is committing a criminal act against fellow Americans, a criminal act that may have been motivated — and we’ll see what’s turned up in this investigation — by this hatred and bigotry.”

James Alex Fields, Jr. was charged with second-degree murder and other counts on Saturday after driving a car into a crowd of protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring dozens of people.

McMaster claimed President Donald Trump was “very clear” in his response to the violence.

“We cannot tolerate this kind of bigotry, this kind of hatred,” McMaster said. “And what he did is he called on all Americans to take a firm stand against it.”

Trump in fact declined to condemn white supremacy in his response to the violence. He instead called it an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” and described clashes at the rally as “sad!”

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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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