Speed Reads

violence in Charlottesville

Pence says the White House has 'no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or the KKK'

On Sunday, the White House scrambled to contain the fallout from President Trump's decision to not condemn the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday night and Saturday, or mention the death of one anti-racism protester mowed down by a car allegedly driven by a reputed Nazi sympathizer. On Sunday morning, 36 hours after the attack and amid mounting criticism from officials in both parties, the White House released an unsigned statement insisting that "of course" Trump's condemnation of "hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides" included "white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups."

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday that the deadly attack, which also wounded 19 others, almost certainly meets the definition of domestic terrorism, and in Cartagena, Colombia, Vice President Mike Pence said what Trump decided not to. "We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or the KKK," Pence said at a news conference in South America. "These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms."

"President Trump clearly and unambiguously condemned the bigotry, violence, and hatred which took place on the streets of Charlottesville," Pence said. "The president also made clear that behavior by others or different militant perspectives also unacceptable in our political debate and discourse." The statement Trump read on Saturday was "sincere" and "from the heart," Pence added, criticizing "the fact" that "many in the national media spent more time criticizing the president's words than they did criticizing those that perpetrated the violence to begin with."

Trump has not taken the opportunity to clarify his statement on his favorite communications medium, Twitter, though on Saturday evening he did offer his "deepest condolences" to the Virginia police officers killed when their helicopter crashed and his "condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!"