The Charlottesville mayor on Sunday blamed the heated rhetoric of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for emboldening white supremacists who caused an explosion of violence during rallies in the Virginia city.
“Look at the campaign he ran. Look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand all of these white supremacist, white nationalist groups like that, anti-Semitic groups, and then look on the other hand the repeated failure to step up and condemn, denounce, silence, put to bed, all of those different efforts just like we saw yesterday, and this is not hard,” Mayor Michael Signer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Signer, speaking a day after hate groups engaged in violence encounters with counter-protesters, questioned the president’s leadership.
“Our democracy has been through a lot in the last century. Our city has been through a lot in the last century. We have come in this country through McCarthyism, segregation, Jim Crowe, and we’ve come through stronger than before that, but what’s going to happen now is that we’re all going to stand together on this new effort and that begins with a city like Charlottesville, but it should include the president,” the Democrat said.
Democrats and Republicans blasted Trump for not calling out specific hate groups during a press briefing at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, on Saturday.
Trump blamed the unrest on the ”egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
On Sunday, the White House released a statement that went further in identifying the groups responsible for the violence.
It said the president “condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.”