After coming under fire from all sides of the political spectrum for his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., the White House said on Sunday that President Trump “condemns all forms of violence” — including hate groups.
“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred,” read the statement issued by an unnamed White House spokesperson. “Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”
Violence erupted during a rally protesting the removal of a confederate statue in Charlottesville on Saturday. A 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 other people were injured when a car rammed into a group of counterprotesters. Two Virginia state troopers were also killed when their police helicopter crashed nearby.
Trump responded to the incidents during a previously-scheduled press event at his golf club in New Jersey Saturday afternoon, saying “many sides” were to blame. The president later tweeted “condolences” to the families of the victims. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted Trump for not explicitly condemning the white supremacists involved.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides,” the president said on Saturday. “On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”
On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said Trump’s denunciation of hate groups went without saying.
“When he condemned bigotry and hatred on all sides, that includes white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and I think it’s clear,” McMaster said. “I know it’s clear in his mind.”
Earlier Sunday, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and White House adviser, issued a two-part statement on Twitter calling out the hate groups by name.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis,” Ivanka Trump tweeted. We must all come together as Americans —…