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Trump condemns violence ‘on many sides’ after Charlottesville clashes

Saturday 12-08-2017 - 11:27 PM
News Agencies
President Trump denounced
President Trump denounced the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Virginia (United States) - President Trump denounced the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia during a brief press appearance from Bedminster, New Jersey, on Saturday, but spent most of his remarks focused on veterans affairs.

“We have to heal the wounds of our country,” he said. “These are wounds that have been going on for, really, a long time … Everybody wants it to heal and it will heal and we’re going to make every effort possible to make sure that healing procedure goes as quickly as possible.”

Trump’s comments came after a day of escalating protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, where white nationalists gathered for a “Unite the Right” rally to protest a decision to remove Confederate statues.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” Trump said. “Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society, and no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play and be with their parents and have a good time.”

The president ignored several questions, shouted by reporters after his remarks, about white nationalists who support his presidency and whether he has denounced them in strong enough terms. While leading politicians from both parties specifically denounced the white nationalist cause of the protesters, Trump seemed careful to avoid doing the same.

NBC’s Hallie Jackson followed up with the White House about what Trump meant by “on many sides.” A White House official responded, saying “the President was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protestors and counter protestors today.”

Shortly before Trump’s announcement, state police reported that there were multiple injuries after a vehicle plowed through a crowd of protestors. Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer announced on Twitter that a person died amid the unrest.

Trump said he spoke with Virginia State Governor Terry McAuliffe, who earlier had declared a state of emergency.

“I love the people of our country,” Trump said. “I love all of the people of our country. We’re going to make American great again, but we’re going to make it for all of the people of the United States of America,” he concluded.

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