A Republican strategist has said that she is "ashamed" at President Donald Trump's reaction to the Aug. 12 violence at an event organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ana Navarro told CNN that by attempting to appeal to his base, Trump had missed an opportunity to unite the country.
"He's not only unfit to be president," Navarro added to CNN. "In my book, his lack of leadership, his lack of empathy, his lack of courage -- he's unfit to be human."
Navarro has strongly criticized Trump in the past.
"I've been embarrassed about having Trump for president many times but no times worse than today," she said. "I'm beyond embarrassed, I'm ashamed."
The "Unite the Right" rally was organized by neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups who wanted to protest the removal of a Confederate statue from the city.
Following the violence, which resulted in the death of 32-year-old protester Heather Heyer when James Fields allegedly drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, Trump issued a statement that blamed both sides.
One of Fields' former teachers described him as an admirer of Adolf Hitler who had been identified by school authorities for his radical views on race: "Once you talked to James for a while, you would start to see that sympathy towards Nazism, that idolization of Hitler, that belief in white supremacy," Derek Weimer, Fields' former social studies teacher, told ABC.
Fields has been charged with second-degree murder.
Several counter-demonstrators were also reportedly injured. Later in the day, a police helicopter crashed near Charlottesville, killing two officers.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," Trump said on Aug. 12.
Trump also appealed for a rapid restoration of law and order after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was forced to declare a state of emergency.
Navarro contended that Trump's response was inappropriate in light of what had taken place.
"He was a coward -- he didn't have the spine to behave like the leader of the United States, and I feel that to be shameful," she told CNN.
On Aug. 14, Trump made a further statement on the Charlottesville events, this time specifically mentioning white supremacist and fascist groups.
"Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to what we hold dear as Americans," the president said.
Sources: The Hill, ABC News/ Featured Image: U.S. Department of Energy/flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: The White House/flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Edward Kimmel/flickr via Wikimedia Commons