Democratic Senator Criticizes Trump Over Charlottesville

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Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii has criticized President Donald Trump for his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12 at an event organized by white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.

The senator said Trump's reaction was inadequate, reports The Hill.

One woman was killed and more than 19 others injured when a 20-year-old man, described as an admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, allegedly drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.

"As a Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment," Schatz wrote on Twitter on Aug. 15. "This is not my president."

Schatz's comments came the same day as Trump defended his response to Charlottesville at a New York press conference. The president said that both sides were to blame and alleged that the "alt left" were also "very, very violent."

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Trump declared that there are "fine people" on both sides as well as "bad people," the Washington Examiner reported.

The president pointed out that the white supremacists had gathered to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate leader Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"This week, it is Robert. E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson," said Trump. "Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

Schatz was not the only lawmaker to challenge Trump.

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"White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special," Sen. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.

"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name," wrote Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado on Twitter. "These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."

Trump responded Aug. 14 by explicitly criticizing "the KKK, neo-Nazis and other hate groups" in a statement.

But others joined in the criticism of the president after his remarks at the Aug. 15 press conference.

"What is left to say? This is a disgrace unlike anything I can easily put into words," tweeted Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, according to the Washington Examiner.

Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama took issue with Trump's suggestion that counter-protesters were equally to blame.

"There's only one side to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, it's called the wrong side of history," Sewell said.

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen of Nevada said Trump's Aug. 15 statements made what he said the previous day irrelevant.

"By doubling down on false equivalency, Trump failed to condemn racism & the hateful acts that have left Americans heartbroken," Rosen said in her tweet. "Disgraceful."

Sources: The Hill, The Washington Post, Washington Examiner / Featured Image: United States Senate/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons (2)

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