McConnell Upset With Trump Over Charlottesville Comments

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is upset with President Donald Trump regarding how he handled the response to the protests in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

The senator is concerned that the president’s response to the protests in Charlottesville could unravel the decades of work that he and other members of the Senate have done to improve civil rights.

Trump faced an onslaught of negative press and attacks from congressional Republicans Monday, who said the president did not do enough to specifically call out the perpetrators of the Charlottesville protests. The president said in the wake of the protests that he condemned violence on “many sides,” but failed to call out white supremacist groups.

Trump amended his comments Tuesday afternoon, saying that he thinks there is “blame on both sides.”

McConnell responded Wednesday to the president’s statements, fully condemning all acts of violence committed in Charlottesville and denouncing white supremacists and racist groups by name.

“The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America,” McConnell said in a statement given to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred. There are no good neo-Nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. We all have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head,” McConnell said.

Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina joined in the Republican dissent against the president’s treatment of the protests.

Graham said Wednesday that “through his statements yesterday [Tuesday], President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacists neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer. I, along with many others, do not endorse this moral equivalency.”

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