President Trump unequivocally denounced white nationalism in an unannounced address following the violence at a white nationalist event in Charlottesville over the weekend.
“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said. “We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law and under our Constitution.
“To anyone who acted criminally at this weekend’s racist violence: you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be fully delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America and as I’ve said many times before no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag and we are all made by the same almighty God,” Trump continued.
“We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence,” Trump continued. “We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Trump’s statement followed a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The DOJ has opened a civil rights investigation into the violence, and Sessions has said the DOJ is treating the violence as an act of domestic terrorism.
Trump faced questions in the media up after his original statement on Charlottesville, where he denounced violence from both sides but did not address white nationalism or white supremacy specifically. The president’s daughter, White House aide Ivanka Trump, issued a strongly-worded statement on Twitter condemning white nationalism. The right-leaning New York Post’s editorial board hammered Trump in an column Monday titled, “Trump badly missed the mark on Charlottesville.”
James Fields drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring as many as 19 other people. The state police have been slow to answer questions about why exactly they stood down during the violence. Fields was obsessed with Nazism according to one of his former teachers. The Department of Justice (RELATED: James Fields The Latest In Pattern Of Extremist Young Men With Absent Fathers)