President Donald Trump has responded to the violence occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia, surrounding the white nationalist ‘Unite the Right Rally.’
Starting Friday night, a few hundred tiki torch-bearing white nationalists paraded though the University of Virginia, protesting the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces, specifically the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture in Emancipation Park.
Counter-protesters also showed up, and the rising tensions led Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency. As of the writing of this article, one person was killed and 19 were hurt when a speeding car slammed into a throng of counter-protesters.
Trump’s response was not to condemn the alt-right perpetrators, but instead to suggest that both the neo-Nazi group and counter-protesters were equally to blame: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
Bernie Sanders rebuked Trump for his lukewarm, double-sided response.
No, Mr. President. This is a provocative effort by Neo-Nazis to foment racism and hatred and create violence. Call it out for what it is. https://t.co/WibPqkLsLa
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 12, 2017
White nationalist groups have lauded Trump for his response, both at the rally and online.
The Daily Stormer came out with a statement saying:
“Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides! So he implied the antifa are haters. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”