Republican lawmakers are encouraging President Trump to specifically call out the white nationalists involved in the violent protests in Charlottesville on Saturday.
“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner tweeted. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
Trump didn’t single out the white nationalists when he addressed the unrest on Saturday evening. He blamed “many sides” for the violence.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides,” the president said.
Other Republicans in Congress took issue with Trump’s remarks.
“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” tweeted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Another Florida Republican, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, tweeted that
“White supremacists, Neo-Nazis and anti-Semites are the antithesis of our American values. There are no other ‘sides’ to hatred and bigotry.”
Speaking at his New Jersey golf club, Trump condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists upset over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue violently clashed with counter-protesters.
UVA Medical Center said one person died and 19 others are being treated for injuries after a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators.
On Saturday evening, a White House aide issued a statement clarifying why the president used the phrase “on many sides.”
“The president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides,” a White House official said. “There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today.”