Trump condemns Charlottesville clashes: “There is no place for this kind of violence in America.”
Several hours after a planned white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, descended into chaos and violence, President Donald Trump finally weighed in on Twitter, urging the nation to “come together as one.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded to Trump’s tweet by chiding the president for not directly condemning the so-called alt-right for what’s happening in Charlottesville.
Earlier in the day, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said Trump was the inspiration behind rallies like Unite the Right.
The president’s remarks were preceded by condemnation from First Lady Melania Trump.
Alt-right leader Richard Spencer, who was rumored to have been arrested at the rally, responded to the first lady by blaming the violence on left-wing extremists and government officials.
Vice President Mike Pence later joined Trump in condemning the violence but similarly declined to directly condemn the alt-right.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, on the other hand, did condemn the “vile bigotry” and directly referenced the “views fueling the spectacle” in Charlottesville.
Several prominent Democrats, including Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, all strongly rebuked the violence, as well.
Meanwhile, Politico reported that Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer is blaming Trump for the racial unrest unfolding in his city, citing the president’s divisive campaign rhetoric as fueling white supremacist sentiment across the country.
“I’m not going to make any bones about it,” Signer said. “I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.”