A White House spokesman stated Sunday that President Donald Trump explicitly condemns all extremist groups, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
“The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups,” a White House spokesman said Sunday. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”
Trump was widely criticized Saturday for not specifically calling out and condemning white supremacist groups, and the camp of critics also included members close to his inner circle, particularly former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who told ABC News that Trump should’ve been much harsher.
“I wouldn’t have recommended that statement,” Scaramucci said in response to Trump’s Saturday statement from New Jersey. “I think he would have needed to have been much harsher.”
While in New Jersey, Trump summed up the Charlottesville rally as an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” For many political observers, the president’s response was not aggressive enough — in light of the fact a member of the alt-right allegedly slammed a car through a group of antifa protesters, killing one person and injuring at least 19 others.
“With the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out,” Scaramucci added.
Other Republicans pre-empted Scaramucci and publicly made their opinions on Trump’s statement known.
“We should call evil by its name,” GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch said on Twitter. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
GOP Sen. Cory Gardner urged Trump to declare the incident an act of terror.
“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” Gardner said. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
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