President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, weighed in on Saturday’s tragedy in Charlottesville, when white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed in riots that turned deadly, resulting in three deaths and several injuries.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis,” Ivanka Trump tweeted on Sunday morning.
She continued: “We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville”
Ivanka’s statement stood in contrast to her father’s, which denounced the violence in Charlottesville but did not specifically single out the white nationalists who had sparked it.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference Saturday. “On many sides.”
He added: “It’s been going on for a long, long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
Republicans and Democrats immediately criticised Trump’s lacklustre condemnation.
“We should call evil by its name,” tweeted Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado appealed directly to Trump: “Mr. President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
First lady Melania Trump also came out against the violence, and White House officials appeared on the Sunday political shows to condemn the act of terrorism, but Trump himself has yet to denounce the white supremacy explicitly.
Saturday in Charlottesville
The demonstrations turned deadly when a car plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters. One witness had two friends who were hit by the car and had to take them to the hospital. The witness described the incident as “absolutely intentional.”
“A packed street and a car comes speeding down, at least 40 mph and rams into everyone, backs up and does it again,” they said in a text message to Outline staff writer William Turton.
The police on Saturday evening identified the suspected driver of the car as 20-year-old James Fields. The police told media they were holding him on suspicion of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one hit-and-run count.
The FBI announced late Saturday evening it would open a civil rights investigation into the circumstances around “the deadly vehicular incident,” ABC News reported.
“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
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