President Trump called for love and unity in response to the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., but offered no rebuke to the white nationalist groups who brought the violence.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said Saturday during a Veterans Affairs bill signing at his country club in Bedminster, N.J.
Scuffles broke out in Charlottesville earlier in the day as white nationalists and neo-Nazis planned demonstrations.
Ex-KKK leader David Duke and white nationalist leader Richard Spencer were among those in attendance.
A silver Dodge Charger plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters. One person was killed.
While Trump hasn’t addressed the hate group’s actions in the last 24 hours, he’s singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for failing to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Trump used the Saturday address to say that the economy was thriving and “is doing so well in so many ways.”
“So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very sad,” Trump said.
The President insisted no American should fear for his or her safety.
“And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time,” he said.
He blamed all sides for the hatred that “has been going on for a long time in our country.”
Yet the commander-in-chief later said he wants to get “this situation straightened out in Charlottesville.” His administration would study it to figure out why there’s such tension in the U.S., he added.
In the end, Trump said people of all viewpoints need to come together so they could live in peace and understanding.
“Our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another,” he said. “We have to respect each other. Ideally, we have to love each other.”