‘Racism is Evil’ — Donald Trump Condemns KKK, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacists (Photo Credit: Breitbart)
President Donald Trump took to the podium on Monday to respond to the hate groups and violence taking place in Charlottesville Virginia over the weekend.
After igniting a firestorm for not specifically condemning the hate groups, amid criticism stemming from both sides of the aisle—Trump issued a much stronger statement specifically denouncing hate group by their name.
Speaking from the Diplomatic Room at the White House, Trump said that hatred and bigotry” have no place in America.
Trump began his speech by touting the success of the economy under his leadership, upon which he returned to the topic of violence in Charlottesville by providing an update to how the federal government will address the Charlottesville tragedy.
“Racism is evil,” Trump said, upon which he referred to the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and white supremacists as “repugnant” to everything America holds dear.
“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held accountable,” Trump said.
Trump’s more direct response comes days after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, where hate groups touting themselves as “white supremacist” gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee before clashing with counter-protesters.
In his statement on Monday, Trump said the Department of Justice had opened up a civil rights investigation into the events leading up to the violence and tragedy.
“We will spare no resource fighting so every American child can grow up free from violence and fear,” Trump said.
At least one person died when a car driven by James Alex Fields., 20 of Maumee, Ohio plowed through a crowd Saturday, injuring more than a dozen. Two Virginia state troopers, responding to the protest were also killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday.
According to White House reports, Trump met with Attorney General Jeff Session and FBI Director Christopher Wray late on Monday morning.
Trump faced intense scrutiny and backlash for not calling out the hate groups after delivering a statement on Saturday, specifically when he condemned bigotry and violence from “many sides.”
The white supremacist groups staged demonstrations at the University of Virginia on Friday and in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday. They were holding a “Unite the Right” rally, to protest the Charlottesville City Council’s decision to remove a statute of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general.
Pressure had been mounting for the president to condemn the protesters for several days since the violence erupted in Charlottesville, even from members of his party, to make clear that he denounced hatred and bigotry.
Some of the demonstrators proudly adorned “Make America Great Again” hats, to add to the quagmire of bigotry spilling over into hatred and violence, David Duke made his presence known, telling reporters that “We” are here to “fulfill the promises” of Donald Trump.
Before Trump’s speech on Charlottesville, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, resigned on Monday, from a White House advisory council on manufacturing to protest Trump’s failure to explicitly call out hate groups.
Trump responded on Twitter by attacking Frazier. “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” he wrote.
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
The president did not take questions after delivering the brief statement by Teleprompter, despite reporters asking him why it had taken until Monday to make such a statement.
By LeNora Millen 08-14-17