President Donald Trump delivered a statement on Monday, August 14, condemning the violent white supremacist marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, that killed three people.
Over the weekend, white nationalists were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park when they clashed with counter-protestors. A car ran into a group of the counter-protestors, killing one person and injuring dozens of others. Two state troopers, who had been assisting with the police response, were also killed when their helicopter crashed.
During his brief speech, the POTUS, 71, announced that the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the deadly car attack. “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered,” he said. “As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America. And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag and we are all made by the same almighty God.”
He also condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists after he faced criticism for not denouncing the groups in his previous statement on Saturday, during which he said “many sides” were to blame for the death. “Racism is evil,” Trump continued in his Monday statement. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. We are a nation founded under the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under the Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”
The former Celebrity Apprentice host went on to pay tribute to Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, as well as the state troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates. “These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation. In times such as these, America has always shown its true character — responding to hate with love, division with unity and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice,” he said. “We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.”
The president’s statement comes after his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump denounced the alt-right protestors. “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis,” she tweeted on Sunday, August 13. “We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville.”
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