During an impromptu statement from The White House, President Trump attempted to clear up the nation's comprehensions of his views calling out the "KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and other hate groups as repugnant."
Declared on Monday that “racism is evil”, Trump's public comments were the first instance in which he called out the KKK and Nazis specifically for their role in this weekend’s violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
The statement that everyone was hoping for: "Racism is evil and those that cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs – including the KKK, Neo-nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to eveything we hold dear as Americans"...
Trump: "Racism is evil and those that cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs –including the KKK, Neo-nazis..." pic.twitter.com/B60ypgRFQa— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 14, 2017
Trump also noted that "no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws"
Trump: "No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws" pic.twitter.com/y5eIo6Auu2— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 14, 2017
Trump's address came after a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The president pledged to hold accountable “anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence." The president's comments and the meeting with Sessions were clearly intended to send a new signal from the White House after the president came under fierce criticism from members of both parties for an initial response in which he blamed "many sides" for what happened in Charlottesville. Originally, he did not specifically mention white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan or any other groups that marched in Charlottesville in those remarks on Saturday.
The statement also came after a highly publicized clash this morning, when he lashed out Monday morning at the CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals for resigning from a White House advisory council over the president’s comments.
“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Trump tweeted.
Speaking on MSNBC after Trump's comments, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said he was glad to see the president call out the white supremacist groups, though he added that he wished it would not have taken a couple days. Trump began his remarks Monday by talking about the growth in the American economy, and took no questions after his statement.
Other highlights from his speech via Bloomberg:
- *TRUMP: IN WASHINGTON TO MEET WITH ECONOMIC TEAM
- *TRUMP: RENEGOTIATING TRADE DEALS, DISCUSSING TAX REFORM
- *TRUMP CALLS CHARLOTTESVILLE ATTACK 'HORRIFIC'
- *TRUMP: DOJ HAS OPENED CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION
- *TRUMP SAYS 'JUSTICE WILL BE DELIVERED' FOR CHARLOTTESVILLE
- *TRUMP SAYS DISPLAY OF BIGOTRY, VIOLENCE HAS NO PLACE IN U.S.
- *TRUMP SAYS HATE GROUPS ARE REPUGNANT TO AMERICAN IDEALS
- *TRUMP SAYS KKK, NEO-NAZIS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND OTHER HATE GROUPS ARE REPUGNANT
- *TRUMP: ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL UNDER U.S. CONSTITUTION
- *TRUMP DENOUNCES VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF BIGOTRY
- *TRUMP: WILL SPARE NO RESOURCE TO RID U.S. OF VIOLENCE, FEAR
Of course, for many in the media, this is too little too late, as summed up by this 'unbiased' opinion from none other than John Harwood:
grudging. bare minimum. no indication he was feeling the words he was reading.— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 14, 2017
Though this seemed to sum things up rather well...
Liberal Twitter: "He should have done that days ago! He's still bad!"— jg (@JustinGlawe) August 14, 2017
Fox: "If this doesn't quiet his critics, they don't like Americans."