Hours after the violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump issued his statement on the unrest and condemned the clashes between white supremacist marchers and counter-protesters. But GOP members criticized Trump for his Charlottesville statement, as several noted that the president failed to explicitly name white supremacy as the main instigator in the events that unfolded at the "Unite The Right "rally.
Trump said in a statement delivered to reporters present in Bedminster, New Jersey:
The president went on to say that the violence had been going on for a "long, long time" and that it did not originate during his or Barack Obama's administration.
The white supremacist rally Charlottesville on Saturday turned fatal after authorities reported that three people were dead. Police confirmed that a woman had died after a car plowed into an anti-racist group, while two state troopers died in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville.
Members from Trump's Republican party took to social media to disagree with his comments and urge him to directly point at white nationalists while other members delivered statements to the press to criticize his remarks.
1. Speaker Paul Ryan
Our hearts are with today's victims. White supremacy is a scourge. This hate and its terrorism must be confronted and defeated.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 12, 2017
Probably the most well-known Republican at this moment, Speaker Ryan took to Twitter and said, "White supremacy is a scourge. This hate and its terrorism must be confronted and defeated."
2. Sen. Orrin Hatch
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
Sen. Hatch of Utah tweeted that "We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home."
3. Sen. Cory Gardner
Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism. https://t.co/PaPNiPPAoW— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 12, 2017
Sen. Gardner of Colorado addressed Trump and said that "evil" should be called by its name. "These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism," Gardner tweeted.
4. Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Rubio of Texas said that it was critical for America to hear Trump describe the "terror attack" in Charlottesville as that conducted by "white supremacists."
5. Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Cruz of Texas called on the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation of the "grotesque act of domestic terrorism" that took place at the rally.
6. Sen. Tim Scott
Sen. Scott of South Carolina stated that it was critical to specifically condemn the "domestic terror" in Virginia on Saturday. Failure to do so, Scott tweeted, would only embolden hate.
7. GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Free speech may give them the right to do this but also empowers us to unite to loudly speak out against it.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 12, 2017
GOP chairwoman McDaniel said that the marchers were entitled to free speech but the same right "empowers us to unite to loudly speak out against it."
8. Sen. John McCain
Sen. McCain of Arizona issued a detailed statement on the events that took place in Virginia on Saturday. McCain's statement was decidedly much more pointed than Trump's comments.
Apart from Republican backlash against Trump's comments, Democratic party members also issued criticism against the president's remarks. In one pithy statement, former Vice President Joe Biden said: