Donald Trump Under Fire For Refusing To Condemn White Supremacists After Deadly Attack At Charlottesville

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Donald Trump Under Fire For Refusing To Condemn White Supremacists After Attack At Rally Left Three Dead

Donald Trump is coming under fire for refusing to condemn white supremacists after an attack on counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, left three dead and dozens injured, with the president instead claiming that hatred on “many sides” was responsible.

On Saturday, a man identified as James Alex Fields, Jr. allegedly drove through a crowd of people gathered to protest against white supremacists who descended on the town of Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving at least three dead. Though it is not yet clear if Fields had any connections to the white supremacists taking part in the rally, witnesses said it appeared the 20-year-old intentionally drove through the crowd that was protesting the rally. Fields is in jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, The Daily Beast reported.

In the wake of the attack, Donald Trump made a brief statement from his private golf club in New Jersey, where he is on vacation for the next two weeks. In the statement, Trump refused to single out the white supremacists who organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, a town that became a target after removing a statue of Robert E. Lee.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said, as reported by CNN. “It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Trump’s choice of words — which appeared to many to lay some blame on the counter-protesters to were attacked — came under immediate fire. Former Vice President Joe Biden seized on Trump’s wording, noting that the hatred and bigotry at the rally came only from one side.

Biden was joined by Bernie Sanders, who also called out Trump for refusing to acknowledge that the violence in Charlottesville was a coordinated effort by “Neo-Nazis.”

Others went even further, laying blame on Donald Trump for stoking the anger of the so-called “Alt-Right” with his fiery rhetoric and attacks on immigrants and minority groups during the campaign. Trump was accused of racially charged attacks himself, including his re-tweeting of a graphic claiming to show high levels of crimes from African-Americans, though the graphic itself used fabricated statistics and was later found to have been created by a white supremacists on Twitter.

David Duke, the onetime KKK leader, even claimed that Saturday’s rally was about fulfilling promises made by Donald Trump during his campaign.

Donald Trump has not responded to the criticism, nor has he specifically called out the white supremacist groups leading the rallies at Charlottesville.

[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Nathan Francis
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