President Donald Trump condemned hate groups, including white supremacists, in remarks from the White House on Monday, after receiving criticism for his initial statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
“Racism is evil,” said Trump, two days after a driver rammed a car into a crowd of people in the midst of violent clashes over a white nationalist rally in the city. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Trump’s immediate response to the violence, which did not label the ramming an act of terrorism or include a denunciation of white supremacists, was met with bipartisan backlash. In remarks on the rally and subsequent clashes from his golf club in New Jersey on Saturday, he condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
A White House official later elaborated on Trump’s comments, indicating that he was opposed to the “hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides” and noting that “there was violence between protesters and counterprotesters.”