President Donald Trump insisted on Monday that he and his administration forcefully denounce the 'evil' embodied by white supremacists and other bigoted hate groups whose weekend rally in Virginia left one woman dead and 20 others injured.
'Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,' the president said at the White House.
'We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.'
'Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups,'President Trump said Monday – two days after a deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia
Trumps scathing remarks in the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room followed a weekend in which he was criticized for not condemning bigots
James Alex Fields Jr. (left) was charged Sunday with the murder of Heather Heyer (right) after he allegedly drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters gathered in opposition of a white nationalist rally
The president also announced that the Department of Justice had opened a civil rights investigation into the weekend's violence.
'We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence. It has no place in America,' he said.
'As I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. And we are all made by the same almighty God.'
The president's Monday do-over featured harsher language than his first public reaction to the tragedy on Saturday. And unlike that first statement, it specifically called out racist groups.
Members of white supremacy groups clashed with opponents on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia
Trump returned to Washington for a half-day of meetings and an event attacking Chinese trade practices – but a promised press conference disappeared from his agenda
Trump told reporters Friday that he was 'going to have a pretty big press conference on Monday' in the nation's capital. But that was before his attempt to condemn a white supremacist protest in Virginia turned into a public relations disaster
A CNN reporter known as a vocal Trump opponent asked the president hours later at the end of an unrelated event why it took him two days to name and shame the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
'Can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?' Jim Acosta asked.
'They've been condemned. They have been condemned,' a stoic Trump responded, before dismissing Acosta and CNN as 'fake news.'
At day's end Trump tweeted an exasperated jab over the questioning, saying that he had '[m]ade additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied...truly bad people!'
Trump had told reporters Friday in New Jersey that he was 'going to have a pretty big press conference on Monday' in the nation's capital.
But that was before his attempt to condemn the white supremacist protest turned into a public relations disaster on Saturday, making Monday a day of explaining and losing precious political high ground.
President Trump ended his day with an exasperated tweet framing CNN reporter Jim Acosta's question about his do-over as a 'Fake News' move by 'truly bad people' in the press
Trump tweeted Monday morning about his policy agenda but didn't mention the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one protester dead on Saturday
Trump's half-day return to Washington was expected to focus on an event attacking Chinese trade practices.
Instead he was forced to reframe his botched comments from Saturday in which he decried 'hatred, bigotry and violence – on many sides, on many sides.'
That was thought to have been a reference to left-wing 'antifa' – anti-fascist – protesters' plans to start fistfights with neo-Nazis. But it was the white nationalists who turned most violent, with one Ohio native driving a car into a crowd and killing a 32-year-old dissenter.
The White House issued an unsigned statement on Sunday claiming that Trump 'condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.'
But the damage had already been done, with members of Trump's own party wasting no time in criticizing him for failing to call out racists specifically and with vigor.
'Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,' tweeted Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner. 'These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.'
Trump created a firestorm over the weekend by saying that he condemned 'this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence – on many sides'
HBO host John Oliver said Trump 'cannot even be bothered to f****** condemn' Nazis
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said on Twitter that it's '[v]ery important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.'
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah vented: '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.'
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4789872/Trump-FINALLY-condemns-evil-white-supremacists.html