United States President Donald Trump has defended a statement he made after a woman was killed on August 12, when a car ploughed into anti-racism protesters who were confronting white supremacists in the Virginia college town.
Dozens more were injured in the violence between the two groups.
Mr Trump was criticised for waiting two days to explicitly condemn the white supremacists — described as “Nazis” by Virginia’s Governor — behind the rally.
WHAT WAS THE PROTEST ABOUT?
The rally was organised by right-wing Charlottesville blogger Jason Kessler to protest against the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee.
The white supremacists were met by a nearly equal number of counter-protesters.
Mr Kessler had described the event as “pro-white” and said it was “about an anti-white climate within the Western world and the need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do”.
A video posted on Twitter showed white supremacist marchers shouting “Heil Trump” and giving Nazi salutes as they walked past a counter-demonstration, while demonstrators opposed to the rally were seen burning Confederate flags.
Another video showed demonstrators shouting “blood and soil”, a slogan used by the Nazis.
“I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today,” Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said.
“Our message is plain and simple, go home.”
WHAT TRUMP SAID
Speaking at his New Jersey golf club immediately after the violence, Mr Trump said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
It’s the words “on many sides” people have a problem with.
At the end of his press conference, Mr Trump left the podium, ignoring reporters’ questions about whether he wanted the support of white nationalists who say they back him, or if the apparent car attack constituted an act of terrorism.
Prominent Republicans were among those calling on Mr Trump to make a stronger statement.
Colorado senator Cory Gardner tweeted: “Mr President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
Well, now Trump says the phrase “many sides” refers to the American people, whom he loves equally – and not only the White Americans as sections speculated.
“My speech said I love all the people of our country. I did not say I love you because you are black; or I love you because you are white; or I love you because you are from Japan; or you are from China; or you are from Kenya; or Scotland; or Sweden. I love all the people of our country,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday in a 77-minute speech at a rally in Phoenix, as protesters gathered outside.
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