Charlottesville Protest: Trump Blames ‘many Sides’ For Violent Clashes

BEDMINISTER, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed “many sides” for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia and contended that the “hatred and bigotry” broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.

That was not how the Charlottesville mayor assessed the chaos that led the governor to declare a state of emergency, contending that Trump’s campaign fed the flames of prejudice.

Trump, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, had intended to speak briefly at a ceremony marking the signing of bipartisan legislation to aid veterans, but he quickly found that those plans were overtaken by the escalating violence in the Virginia college town.

“I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.” — Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer

He told reporters that he had just spoken to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., and “we agreed that the hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and … true affection for each other.”

The president said that “what is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”

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.

A few hours after violent encounters between the two groups, a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally. One person died and at least 26 were sent to hospitals.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said.

People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)>
People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

“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,” he said.

Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign last year.

“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,” he said.

Disturbances began Friday night during a march through the University of Virginia before escalating Saturday.

The White House was silent for hours except for a tweet from first lady Melania Trump: “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts.”

Trump later tweeted: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for.” He also said “there is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., took to Twitter to denounce the scene.

“The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry,” he said.

In his remarks, Trump mentioned the strong economy and “the many incredible things in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very said.”

Violence at White Nationalist rally in Charlottesville

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White nationalist demonstrators clash with police at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia A counter demonstrator throws a water bottle at an white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia A Black Lives Matter New York demonstrator holds a sign to counter white nationalist demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White nationalist demonstrators clash with a counter demonstrator as he throws a newspaper box at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia People gather around one of the people injured when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 (CBSN) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia People gather around injured people when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 (CBSN) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White supremacists and anti-fascists clash in a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 (CBSN) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White supremacists and anti-fascists clash in a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 (CBSN) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia White supremacists and anti-fascists clash in a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 (CBSN) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia One car hit 2 others and then intentionally plowed into a group of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 (CBSN) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Rescue personnel help an injured woman after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.(AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. /The Daily Progress via AP) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia A vehicle reverses after driving into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Heather Heyer in an undated photo on a GoFundMe page. The 32-year-old died in Charlottesville when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, August 12, 2017 Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia This photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he rammed his car into a crowd of protesters Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. (Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia These undated photo provided by the Virginia State Police show Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, left, of Quinton, Va., and Lt. H. Jay Cullen, of Midlothian, Va. The two were killed Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, when the helicopter they were piloting crashed while assisting public safety resources during clashes at a nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. (Virginia State Police via AP) Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Charlottesville resident Elliot Harding lights a candle as he places flowers and a stuffed animal at a makeshift memorial for the victims after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally earlier in the day in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Source : http://koin.com/2017/08/12/trump-blames-many-sides-for-violent-clashes-in-virginia/

Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia
Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Charlottesville
Trump blames “many sides” for violent clashes in Virginia
Trump blames 'many sides' for violent clashes in Virginia (Video)
Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia
Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia
Trump blames 'many sides' for violent clashes in Va.