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Trump condemns hatred in Charlottesville 'on many sides'

By
Eric DuVall
President Donald J. Trump was criticized Saturday for failing to more forcefully denounce members of the far-right after violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia left one person dead. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI
President Donald J. Trump was criticized Saturday for failing to more forcefully denounce members of the far-right after violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia left one person dead. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

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.

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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."

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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. Police have since said the attack was premeditated and the driver is in custody.

Trump did not acknowledge the fatality in his public remarks on Saturday, a fact that drew criticism from prominent senators of both parties. Instead, he offered condolences to the victim's family via Twitter several hours after he spoke.

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"Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!" Trump tweeted.

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The sentiment was not enough for several senators who called on Trump to more forcefully condemn the far-right protesters.

"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., tweeted.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted Trump's response.

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"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.

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