Trump Speaks On Charlottesville Rally: We Condemn Hate ‘On Many Sides’

President Donald Trump walks up to the podium to speak to members of the media regarding the on going situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 in Bedminister, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump said he condemns hate “on many sides” after violent clashes at a white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia left one dead and at least 19 injured.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said in a brief statement. “It has been going on for a long time in our country – not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

In his remarks, Trump failed to mention the white nationalists who planned the rally to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.

“What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives,” Trump said. “No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time.”

Trump said he spoke with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and they “agreed that the hate and division must stop.” McAuliffe declared a state of emergency after hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other at the rally.

He concluded his statement by saying, “We have to heal the wounds of our country.”

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that “there is no place for this kind of violence in America.”

Minutes before Trump spoke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement saying he “stands united behind the President condemning the violence in Charlottesville.”

 

However, several Republican senators have come forward in criticizing the President for not calling out the rally’s organizers as white supremacists.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Summer Concepcion is the front page editor of Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Previously, she covered the 2016 presidential election for Fusion and worked as a researcher at The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She's an LA native and former Chicago transplant. Reach her at summer@talkingpointsmemo.com
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