Trump also, for the first time, mentioned Heather Heyer by name
President Donald Trump arrives to speak about the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia., Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington. photo: AP/Evan Vucci, photo: AP/Evan Vucci
14 of August 2017 15:00:36
WASHINGTON – Under relentless pressure, President Donald Trump on Monday named and condemned "repugnant" hate groups and declared that "racism is evil" in a far more forceful statement than he'd made earlier after deadly, race-fueled weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.Trump's initial failure on Saturday to denounce the groups by name — instead he bemoaned violence on "many sides" — prompted criticism from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats. This time, the president described members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as "criminals and thugs" in a prepared statement he read during an unscheduled address from the White House."Racism is evil," he said, singling out the hate groups as "repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans.""Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America," he said.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said he spoke to Trump in the hours after the clashes and twice told the president "we have to stop this hateful speech, this rhetoric." He said he urged Trump "to come out stronger" against the actions of white supremacists.Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing the president for not specifically calling out white nationalists. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said Sunday on NBC, "This isn't a time for innuendo or to allow room to be read between the lines. This is a time to lay blame."The White House scrambled to stem the tide of criticism, dispatching aides to the Sunday talk shows and sending out a statement that more forcefully denounced the hate groups.But the White House did not attach a name to the statement. Usually, a statement would be signed by the press secretary or another staffer; not putting a name to one eliminates an individual's responsibility and often undercuts the significance.White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city's plans to take down a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition.
“Justice will be done.We are coming after these people. It will not be tolerated, it cannot be tolerated in America.” -- AG Jeff Sessions pic.twitter.com/0Ze9bVuUSo— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 14, 2017