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

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

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 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.

  • Click here to read more on the press conference.

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.'

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.

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.

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."

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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