Trump calls out KKK and neo-Nazis after backlash to Charlottesville remarks

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (ABC) — President Donald Trump condemned hate groups including white supremacists in remarks from the White House 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 car drove into a crowd of people in the midst of violent clashes over a white nationalist rally. “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.”

Related Content: Peaceful rallies to protest hate continue in Connecticut following Charlottesville

Trump’s immediate response to the violence, which did not label the incident as an act of terrorism, nor include a denunciation of white supremacy, was met with bipartisan backlash. During remarks addressing the rally and subsequent clashes from his golf club in New Jersey, the president condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

Related Content: New Haven unity rally in response to Charlottesville

A White House official later elaborated on Trump’s comments, indicating that the president was opposed to the “hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides” and noting that “there was violence between protesters and counter-protesters.”

Related Content: Several vigils take place in Connecticut after violent rally

Trump’s address Monday came after a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. He noted that, on Saturday, the Department of Justice opened a federal civil rights investigation into the incident involving the car, and addressed those who contributed to the violence in the Virginia city.

Related Content: Rally held in Oregon to speak out against white supremacy

“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable,” said Trump. “Justice will be delivered.”

Related Content: Man charged with murder for allegedly plowing into crowd in Charlottesville following white nationalist rally

On Monday morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended Trump’s initial response, telling ABC News that “he explicitly condemned the kind of ideology behind these movements of Naziism, white supremacy, the KKK.”

Related Content: Hundreds protest proposed removal of Confederate monument in Texas

“That is his unequivocal position,” said Sessions.

Related Content: Scaramucci: Bannon’s ‘toleration’ of white nationalism is ‘inexcusable’

The attorney general further said Monday that the attack met “the definition of domestic terrorism.”

The president did not use the term “terrorism” during his speech from the White House Monday.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s