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.”