President Donald Trump was widely condemned Saturday after he failed to specifically denounce the white nationalism driving Saturday's protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
During a press conference earlier in the day, Trump blamed "many sides" for the violence and urged Americans to love one another. However, the statement didn't go far enough for most, considering that members of the "Alt-Right" and white nationalists are responsible for the demonstrations that led to Saturday's deadly protests.
National leaders, prominent Americans and media members on both sides of the political spectrum were quick to urge Trump to go further with his comments:
Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists— Marco Rubio (@Marco Rubio)1502573411.0
Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism. https://t.co/PaPNiPPAoW— Cory Gardner (@Cory Gardner)1502570669.0
Trump is very, very specific when he wants to condemn someone - ask the Khans, Judge Curiel, Comey, his AG - his vagueness has a purpose.— David French (@David French)1502568271.0
Donald Trump mocked Barack Obama for not calling Islamic Terrorism by its name. Now HE must call White Supremacy Terrorism by its name.— Joe Scarborough (@Joe Scarborough)1502564928.0
Note the President using the term "many sides." Given the chance, he didn't condemn these white supremacists and ne… https://t.co/KV7fvzPGE0— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta)1502567462.0
History will judge the president's word-play over resurgent white nationalism harshly--and sooner, I think, than he realizes.— Jon Meacham (@Jon Meacham)1502570844.0
When terrorists abroad plow cars into crowds Trump condemns "radical Islam." But when it happens here, he talks of violence "on many sides."— George Takei (@George Takei)1502567321.0
Did Trump really say that he condemns the violence on "many sides"? The white folks with tiki torches brought the violence, own it.— deray (@deray)1502567331.0
On "many sides?" This tragedy was fomented by white supremacists & neo-Nazis. What signal did the @POTUS just send? https://t.co/WtoFyEpOAf— David Axelrod (@David Axelrod)1502567010.0
Reminder: Trump attacked Dems for not "naming the enemy"and saying "radical Islamic terrorism" - he wouldn't name the enemy today.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘)1502573533.0
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
I've been embarrassed about having Trump as President, many times. But no time, worse than today. I'm beyond embarrassed. I'm ashamed.— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@Ana Navarro-Cárdenas)1502575656.0
It is neither unfair nor inaccurate to point out that the president has been tougher on Mitch McConnell than Putin or Nazis in last 24 hours— Glenn Thrush (@Glenn Thrush)1502567906.0
With 2 words in a tweet -"Charlottesville sad" - Trump has proven himself, by any measure, to be unfit to be President of the United States.— Kurt Eichenwald (@Kurt Eichenwald)1502576035.0
The most transparent Trump has been about anything since entering politics is his desire not to alienate the white nationalists in his base.— Natasha Bertrand (@Natasha Bertrand)1502575386.0
Saturday's protests were marked with widespread violence. They climaxed in the afternoon when a car plowed through a group of several hundred demonstrators, injuring 19 and killing one person. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has declared a local state of emergency and has staged National Guard troops.
The protests come as white supremacists from across the country gathered in Charlottesville to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The White House later doubled down on Trump's "many sides" comment:
I asked the White House what @POTUS meant by "on many sides." The response, from a WH official --> https://t.co/pw3WZAMG1A— Hallie Jackson (@Hallie Jackson)1502570056.0