Va. leaders criticize Pres. Trump's 'blame on both sides' commen - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Va. leaders criticize Pres. Trump's 'blame on both sides' comment: 'You're on the wrong side'

Source: CNN Source: CNN

Governor Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Republican Gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie, and Congressman Donald McEachin released statements following President Trump's press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

In a press conference, President Trump said "there is blame on both sides" for the deadly violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.

Here is Governor McAuliffe's statement:

Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community. This was not 'both sides.'

Our Commonwealth and nation are still reeling from one of the largest outpourings of hatred and violence we have experienced in recent history. We need real leadership, starting with our President.

Leaders from every corner of this nation and every partisan point of view have denounced these people and their acts in plain terms without hesitation or dissembling. The American people need the same from their President and we need it now.

Here is Lieutenant Northam's statement:

The President of the United States today defended white supremacists rather than condemning them. This is a dereliction of duty to defend Americans against a hateful and evil ideology.

When white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on our beautiful city of Charlottesville this weekend, they came with evil, hatred, and bigotry in their hearts and an intention to do harm on their minds. And one of these people took Heather Heyer’s life in an act of domestic terrorism.

Leaders from across the political spectrum have spoken clearly and definitively against this disgusting ideology. Donald Trump has dispensed with a wink and a nod, and is openly defending white nationalists. The time for silence is over. I am asking Ed Gillespie and the rest of his party what it will take to denounce Donald Trump.

Here is Mayor Stoney's statement: 

I am deeply disturbed by President Trump's willingness to rationalize the hate and violence perpetuated by torch-bearing white supremacists and neo-Nazi thugs who left their stain on Charlottesville last weekend.

Suggesting that "both sides" bear responsibility for Saturday's bloodshed is a shameful sanitization of the facts that amounts to blaming the victims who stood up to bigotry and hate in their community. There is no more equivalency here. There is only one "side" to take against those who promote hatred, bigotry and violence.

Here is Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie's statement:

The white supremacists and neoNazis who invaded cville espouse reprehensible views that have no redeeming value whatsoever. Simple as that.

Here is Congressman Donald McEachin's statement:

The President’s attempt to equate those who hate with those who came to oppose condemn hate is outrageous. This afternoon, Mr. Trump’s true colors revealed that Saturday’s appalling rhetoric truly was a wink and nod to the white supremacist groups that represent the real Donald J. Trump. As I said this morning, our President seems more like the president of the "alt-right."

This President has abrogated his moral authority as president. In the aftermath of senseless violence and the subsequent loss of life, we need a compassionate convener, who demonstrates with words and actions the best of who we are as Americans. His remarks on Saturday and again today added more chaos, bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism into an already volatile moment, providing a dangerous foreshadowing of the direction of our country.

Mr. President, here's a hint. When David Duke is thanking you, you're on the wrong side.

Following the memorial service for Heather Heyer, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine called for unity and peace in the wake of white supremacist demonstrations that took place last weekend:

There is a beautiful spiritual that says ‘I've come a long way, lord, a mighty long way, I've come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way. I've born my burdens in the heat of the day, but the lord has made a way.’ We know this in Virginia. Virginia is a place of scar tissue, folks. We’ve experienced hatred. We’ve experienced division. We’ve experienced racism. That is a sad but undeniable part of our history, but we’ve come a long way. We’ve come a long way, under enlightened leadership. We’ve come a long way, fighting back the divisions and bigotries of past eras. We’ve become that state for lovers. We’ve become that Commonwealth, that community in recent years, not that we're perfect in anything, but we’ve put away the evils and wrongs of the past, and we're moving ahead. And there are people who want to bring us back to it, many of them who are not even from the Commonwealth, but they want to haul us backward. But, what Heather's life shows, what this community shows, what Virginia shows, is we're not going back. We will not go back to days of hatred and bigotry and division. We're not going back. And no matter who tries to take us back, no matter who emboldens those who would try to take us back, we are not going backwards. This community of Charlottesville and this Commonwealth of Virginia – we're facing forward, to be loving, to be open, to be welcoming, to be tolerant. That's what Heather's life means. And we will honor her if we continue and even accelerate that progress here in the Commonwealth. Thank you for being with us today.

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