Rep. Robert Pittenger sorry for saying Charlotte protesters "hate white people"


A white North Carolina congressman apologized on Thursday for saying the people demonstrating in the wake of a black man's shooting by police in Charlotte "hate" whites for being successful.

In an interview with the BBC, Rep. Robert Pittenger — a Republican who's been listed as one of the nation's wealthier congressmen — attributed "the animus, the anger" of those demonstrating over the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott to the fact that they "hate white people because white people are successful and they're not."

After a backlash that spread to social media, Pittenger took to his Twitter feed to say he hadn't meant to offend anyone. 

Rather, he said, he'd only meant to highlight a lack of "economic mobility" for blacks. 

Pittenger's apology came too late for critics who went after him for his remarks on the BBC's "Newsnight" program, which also had him decrying a "welfare state" that had "put people in bondage."

Pittenger's former real estate firm came under federal investigation several years ago, the News & Observer reported, also noting the lawmaker was seeking re-election in a district redrawn due to racial gerrymandering.

Protests continued in Charlotte Thursday night amid reports police had opened a homicide investigation following the death of Justin Carr, 26, who was shot during a demonstration on Wednesday.

Carr was protesting the death of Keith L. Scott, who was shot and killed on Tuesday by police searching for a different person with an outstanding arrest warrant at the Village at College Downs apartment complex.