President Donald Trump blamed “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the wake of a white nationalist demonstration.
His comments drew swift reactions. Democrats and some Republicans called on him to specifically denounce white supremacy and racially motivated hate by name. Vice President Mike Pence supported the president’s speech. A white supremacist website praised the comments.
What Trump said:
“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. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
What others are saying:
“I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.” — Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, a Democrat.
“Mr. President, we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” — Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., via Twitter.
“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists” — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., via Twitter.
“@POTUS needs to speak out against the poisonous resurgence of white supremacy. There are not “many sides” here, just right and wrong.” — Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., via Twitter.
“As @POTUS Trump said, “We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation… & true affection for each other.” #Charlottesville” — Vice President Mike Pence via Twitter.
“Even as we protect free speech and assembly, we must condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy.” — Former President Bill Clinton via Twitter.
“There is only one side. #charlottesville” — Former Vice President Joe Biden via Twitter.
“The violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of “many sides.” It is racists and white supremacists.” — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat.
“We reject the racism and violence of white nationalists like the ones acting out in Charlottesville. Everyone in leadership must speak out.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and Trump supporter.
“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” — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, via Twitter.
“We must ALL condemn domestic terror & stand together against racism, hate and evils that if left unchecked will tear us apart #Charlottesville” — Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., via Twitter.
“White supremacists, Neo-Nazis and anti-Semites are the antithesis of our American values. There are no other “sides” to hatred and bigotry.” — Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., via Twitter.
“The President’s talk of violence ‘on many sides’ ignores the shameful reality of white supremacism in our country today, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around such acts of hate.” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. … No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.” — Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website promoting the Charlottesville demonstration on its Summer of Hate edition.