In the wake of the violence that led to three deaths and 19 injuries during and after a planned white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, a White House spokesperson said Sunday that President Donald Trump “condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred” — including white supremacy.
The new statement on Sunday comes a day after the president was widely criticized for not explicitly condemning white supremacy in his remarks. The president himself has still not addressed the omission directly.
“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together,” a White House spokesperson said.
ABC News asked the president Saturday if he wants the support of white nationalist groups, who say they support him, and whether he feels he’s denounced them strongly enough. The president on Saturday did not answer any questions from reporters, however, after he’d taken questions from reporters extensively in prior days.
Trump first tweeted about the violence in Charlottesville Saturday afternoon.
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Later on Saturday, speaking from his golf club in New Jersey, Trump made a statement to address the violence.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said. “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. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”
Afterwards, former vice president Joe Biden responded on Twitter, writing, “There is only one side. #charlottesville”
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., directly called out the president on Twitter, writing, “Mr. President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C. agreed with Gardner.
“[President Trump] missed an opportunity to be very explicit here,” Graham said. “These groups seem to believe they have a friend in Donald Trump in the…