Donald Trump’s response to the violence which engulfed Charlottesville has come under fire from senior Republicans.
The US president, who has been at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, gave what was seen as a muted response to the mayhem which unfolded after white supremacists descended on Virginia.
One woman was killed when a car was driven into a group of counter-protestors and two Virginia State Police officers died when their helicopter crashed.
Mr Trump condemned the hate and bigotry “on many sides” rather than giving an unequivocal condemnation of the neo-nazis who organised the rally.
Some critics of Mr Trump argue that his refusal to pin the blame on white supremacists are because he fears he could some of the voters who swept him into power.
I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists. https://t.co/Rkfs7O2Ykr
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) August 12, 2017
It was a point not lost on David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, who said Mr Trump should remember it was white Americans who propelled him to power, not “radical leftists”.
But some of the most senior GOP members of the Senate made it clear they blamed white nationalists for the violence and terror which was inflicted on Charlottesville as they urged Mr Trump to be forthright in his condemnation.
Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who fought a bruising campaign against Mr Trump for the Republican nomination, said it was important to hear the president to describe events in Charlottesville as a terror attack by supremacists.
Cory Gardner, the Republican senator from Ohio, was equally unequivocal, urging Mr Trump to call evil by its name, describing events in Charlottesville as domestic terrorism.
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
Orrin Hatch, the Republican senator from Utah, said his brother did not die fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged in the United States.
What ” WhiteNatjonalist” are doing in Charlottesville is homegrown terrorism that can’t be tolerated anymore that what Any extremist does
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) August 12, 2017
Iowa’s senator, Chuck Grassley, said what white nationalists were doing in Charlottesville was terrorism which should not be tolerated.