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Trump Spokesperson: President’s Condemnation Includes White Supremacists

A White House spokesperson said Sunday that President Trump condemns white supremacists and other forces behind the violence in Charlottesville, Va., this weekend.

“The president said very strong in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all supremacist groups,” the spokesperson said from the New Jersey golf club where Trump is vacationing this month.

The statement comes after Republicans and Democrats called on President Trump to denounce white supremacists after protests in Charlottesville, Va., turned into violent clashes with demonstrators opposing the neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups. One woman died when a man who witnesses say was carrying white supremacist signs earlier in the day rammed his car into a group of counter protesters.

In his remarks on Saturday, the president condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides” and said the tensions have been there long before he, or his predecessor Barack Obama, took office.

“It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” he said.

Critics called on the president to specifically call out racism and white supremacism as the driving force behind the violence.

“Mr President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado tweeted.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who opposed Trump in the 2016 election, tweeted the president must make it clear he regards this as a terror attack by white supremacists: ” Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists”

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said: “Until POTUS specifically condemns alt-right action in Charlottesville, he hasn’t done his job.”

Some Christian leaders also urged the president to go farther in his statements.

Wheaton College professor and former Executive Director of Lifeway Research Ed Stetzer responded to his remarks: “Glad to see the President speak out, particularly since many of these people have been emboldened by his election.”

“Trump is very, very specific when he wants to condemn someone — ask the Khans, Judge Curiel, Comey, his AG — his vagueness as a purpose,” tweeted National Review writer and longtime Trump critic David French.

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