President Trump’s national security adviser appeared to go further than the president by suggesting that the car-ramming in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left a woman dead Saturday may be domestic terrorism.
National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster was asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ “This Week” today whether the car-ramming following a white nationalist gathering in the Virginia city was domestic terrorism.
“Anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it meets the definition of terrorism,” McMaster said.
The retired general didn’t definitively label the act as terrorism, however. He said the allegation that the man now in police custody deliberately drove into a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville is “criminal.”
“What you see here, is a criminal act. A criminal act that may be motivated by this hatred and bigotry,” he said.
“We can’t tolerate this kind of bigotry and call all Americans to take a stand against it…Tolerance has to overcome this kind of hatred, this kind of hatred that is grounded, really in ignorance.”
McMaster’s response comes on the heels of Trump’s softer stance on Charlottesville, where the president didn’t label Saturday’s incident as an act of terror in his remarks at all. The president chose to focus instead on how this “has been going on for a long time” and “how a swift restoration of law and order” is vital now.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides,” said Trump in remarks from his golf club in New Jersey.
Ivanka Trump didn’t call it terrorism but stressed that “there is no place in society for racism, white supremacy and Neo-Nazis”, taking a harsher stance than the president.
McMaster also addressed Trump’s “fire and fury” comments to North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un earlier this week, stating the U.S. “was closer to war than a decade ago” but “not a week ago.”
“Our response is that we are prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary. But we’re taking all possible actions short of military action to resolve this very grave threat to the U.S. and the world. And this includes a…very diplomatic effort…increasing sanctions, increasing pressure to convince Kim-Jong Un that it’s not in his interest to continue this path of provocation,” said McMaster, of North Korea’s threats to attack Guam by…