'They are adherents of an evil ideology': Republican lawmakers slam Trump for blaming 'both sides' for the violence in Charlottesville

Kkk charlottesville virginiaGetty Images/Chet StrangeThe Ku Klux Klan protests on July 8, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Republican lawmakers blasted President Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon following a wild press conference where Trump doubled down on his claim that the violence at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally was caused by “many sides.”

“The organisers of events which inspired & led to #charlottesvilleterroristattack are 100% to blame for a number of reasons,” Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted.

The rally was initially organised to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general, but quickly grew into a confrontation between the alt-right and “antifa” or anti-fascist groups.

“They are adherents of an evil ideology which argues certain people are inferior because of race, ethnicity or nation of origin,” Rubio added. “When entire movement built on anger & hatred towards people different than you, it justifies & ultimately leads to violence against them.”

The Florida senator was specifically referring to the white nationalist groups that organised the protest in Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday. The violence left one counter-protester dead, and many injured.

“These groups today use SAME symbols & same arguments of #Nazi & #KKK, groups responsible for some of worst crimes against humanity ever,” Rubio continued. “Mr. President, you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame. They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain.”

“The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win.We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected,” Rubio added.

CharlottesvilleChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesBattle lines form between white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ and anti-fascist counter-protesters at the entrance to Emancipation Park during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Emancipation Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, backed up Rubio’s statement.

“We must be clear,” Ryan tweeted. “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

“We should call evil by its name,” Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, said. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

Hatch further tweeted an image of the alt-right protestors surrounding the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville with the caption: “We should never hesitate to call out hate. Whenever and wherever we see it.”

“This is simple: we must condemn and marginalize white supremacist groups, not encourage and embolden them,” Todd Young, the Indiana Republican, said.

Tim Scott, the only Black Republican serving in the Senate, tweeted out an op-ed he wrote for USA Today on Monday following the events in Charlottesville.

“This weekend’s events involving white supremacist groups are as disturbing and disgusting as they are heartbreaking,” Scott wrote. “The attack was a stark reminder of the darkness of hate.”

“We must come together, as we have before, to confront the issues that chip away at the very foundation of who we are and what we stand for as a country.”

“Blaming “both sides” for #Charlottesville?! No,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, tweeted. “Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.