Just two days after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) congratulated President Trump for his statement Monday condemning white supremacists and declaring racism "evil," Graham walked it back. On Wednesday, he released a statement declaring that Trump "took a step backward" at his combative press conference Tuesday "by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer." Heather Heyer was killed at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a man drove a car through a group of counter-protesters.
Graham made clear that he and other Republicans "do not endorse this moral equivalency." "Many Republicans do not agree with and will fight back against the idea that the Party of Lincoln has a welcome mat out for the David Dukes of the world," said Graham, referring to former KKK leader David Duke, who praised Trump's remarks Tuesday.
"Mr. President, I encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in Charlottesville," Graham said in the statement. "Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them."