Lawmakers of all political stripes blasted President Trump for his remarks Tuesday regarding the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, which ended with a counter-protester's death after she was run over by a car. Trump said "both sides" were to blame for the violence, and he defended white nationalists who were there protesting a "very important statue" coming down, calling some of them "very fine people."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted that the organizers of the event are "100 percent to blame for a number of reasons" and Trump can't "allow white supremacists to share only part of blame. They support idea which cost nation and world so much pain. The white supremacy groups will see being assigned only 50 percent of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected." Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said that "'very fine people' do not participate in rallies with groups chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans and displaying vile symbols of hate."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called Trump out for saying the violence was caused by the alt-left, "whatever that may be. It was caused by neo-Nazis and white supremacists." In a message directly to Trump, Sanders added, "You are embarrassing our country and the millions of Americans who fought and died to defeat Nazism." An outraged Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted that as a "Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment. This is not my president. There has to be room for people of all political stripes among the coalition of the sane. We all need to take our country back together."
These harsh statements counter the praise Trump received from white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, who said Trump showed "honesty and courage" while telling "the truth about Charlottesville."