Aug. 12 (UPI) — President Donald Trump reacted to the chaotic scene that unfolded Saturday at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., condemning violence and hatred “on many sides.”
The remark drew criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for seeming to lump anti-racist protesters in with the far-right rally led by prominent leaders like David Duke and Richard Spencer.
Earlier in the day, Trump addressed the situation via his Twitter page, saying: “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!”
However, in comments at a bill signing ceremony later in the day, Trump expanded, saying: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
The latter comment came shortly after news broke that one person had been killed and 19 injured when a car plowed into a large crowd of anti-racist protesters. Officials have yet to ascribe a motive to the driver, who was detained by police, though cellphone video showed the incident appeared to be a deliberate attack.
Trump did not acknowledge the fatality in any of his public remarks on Saturday, a fact that drew criticism from prominent senators of both parties.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted Trump for not more forcefully calling out members of the far-right.
“Of course we condemn ALL that hate stands for. Until @POTUS specifically condemns alt-right action in Charlottesville, he hasnt done his job,” Schumer tweeted.