Bowing to pressure, Trump denounces hate groups by name

WASHINGTON — Bowing to pressure from right and left, President Donald Trump condemned white supremacist groups by name on Monday, declaring “racism is evil” after two days of public equivocation and internal White House debate over the deadly race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a hastily arranged statement at the White House, Trump branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as “criminals and thugs.”

The groups are “repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans,” he said.

In his initial remarks on the violence Saturday, Trump did not single out the groups and instead bemoaned violence on “many sides.” Those remarks prompted stern criticism from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, who urged him to seize the moral authority of his office to condemn hate groups.

Trump’s softer statement on Saturday had come as graphic images of a car plowing into a crowd in Charlottesville were playing continually on television. White nationalists had assembled in the city to protest plans to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and counter-protesters gathered in opposition. Fights broke out, and then a man drove into the opponents of the white supremacists. One woman was killed and many more badly hurt. Twenty-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio is charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

President Donald Trump expressed condolences for the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a moving car in Charlottesville Saturday. He also mourned the deaths of two state troopers.

Loath to appear to be admitting a mistake, Trump was reluctant to adjust his remarks.

The president had indicated to advisers before his initial statement Saturday that he wanted to stress a need for law and order, which he did. He later expressed anger to those close to him about what he perceived as the media’s unfair assessment of his remarks, believing he had effectively denounced all forms of bigotry, according to outside advisers and White House officials.

Reading from a teleprompter on Monday, he made a point of beginning with an unrelated plug for the strength of the economy under his leadership. Then, taking pains to insist “as I said on Saturday,” Trump denounced the hate groups and called for unity.

“We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence,” he said.

Trump for the first time mentioned Heather Heyer by name as he paid tribute to the woman killed by the car.

At the trade event later in the day, he was asked why it took two days for him to offer an explicit denunciation of the hate groups.

“They have been condemned,” Trump responded before offering a fresh criticism of some media as “fake news.”

Trump noted the Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation.

His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said earlier Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation toward the most serious charges that can be brought, because this is an unequivocally unacceptable and evil attack that cannot be accepted in America.”

In the hours after the incident on Saturday, Trump addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying he condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

Trump’s initial comments had drawn praise from the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, which wrote: “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. . . . No condemnation at all.”

Though the Daily Stormer did not criticize Trump’s new statement, the Occidental Dissent, a white nationalist website, published a message saying whites had been “deserted by their president.”

Trump, as a presidential candidate, frequently came under scrutiny for being slow to offer condemnation of white supremacists. His strongest denunciations of the movement have not come only when asked, and he occasionally trafficked in retweets of racist social media posts during his campaign. His chief strategist, Steve Bannon, once declared that his former news site, Breitbart, was “the platform for the alt-right.” 

Source: (AP)

7 Responses to Bowing to pressure, Trump denounces hate groups by name

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 15, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Do anyone think Trump is sincere gotta be outta they frigging mind,these rednecks are his base guys and gals that voted for him.He ain’t the least bit sorry it’s nothing but a PR stunt to shut up public.

    Reply
  2. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade August 15, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Look what i think he call them and say i must do this but it only talk ok that man trump want this to keep people away from russia affair that orange man is a wicked man but i will tell him karma us comming

    Reply
  3. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen August 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

    No he was pressured to say listening to him he was not sincere,and to long in coming.

    Reply
  4. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba August 15, 2017 at 7:53 am

    WAIT THIS MAN MAD, TRUMP BEEN PREACHING RACE HATE THROUGH OUT THE US DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN….SO UR NAZI FRIENDS EXPECT U TO LIVE UP TO WHAT U PREACH……….BUT THIS HORSE FACE LIKE PRESIDENT, AND RED NECKS WHO CAME WITH COLUMBUS, HAVEN’T LEARN NOTHING FROM THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

    Reply
  5. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow August 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    You for that his dad was expelled from Canada for having a Brothel a checkered past

    Reply
  6. Belfast August 15, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Listen to the President’s latest prattle made at the Trump Towers sometime later. He is still defending the Rednecks and seems to be unsympathetic towards the removal of General Lee’s Statue.

    Reply

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