On Saturday, violence broke out in Charlottesville, VA. in the wake of a white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally to protest the removal of a Confederate statue in the city, with one person dead and many injured. The president gave a speech about the events, and the transcript of Donald Trumps' Charlottesville speech is inciting anger over its failure to repudiate the actions of the white nationalists specifically.
Tensions were already high Friday night when white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus carrying torches and signs with racist and homophobic slogans. Trump's statement came after a member of the alt-right drove their car into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring several others.
In New Jersey for a bill signing, Trump offered an underwhelming speech that has left many Americans angry that he did not offer a stronger condemnation of the violence. Instead, he called for Americans to love one another, and suggested that there has been "violence on many sides." You can read the full transcript of the speech below.
"As you know this was a small press conference, but a very important one, and it was scheduled to talk about the great things we are doing with the secretary on the Veteran's Administration, and we will talk about that very much so in a little while. But I thought I should put out a comment on what is happening in Charlottesville... But we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Va.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence that's on many sides. On many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it's been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is the swift restoration of law and order, and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play, or be with their parents, and have a good time.
I just go off the phone with the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and we agreed that the hate and the division must stop. And must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection — and really I say this so strongly — true affection for each other.
Our country is doing very well in so many ways, we have record, just absolute record employment, we have unemployment at the lowest it's been in almost 17 years. We have companies pouring into our country, Foxcon and car companies, and so many others, they are coming back to our country. We're renegotiating trade deals to make them great for our country, and great for the American worker. We have so many great things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me, it's very, very sad.
I want to salute the great work of the state and local police in Virginia. Incredible people, law enforcement, incredible people. And also the National Guard, they've really been working smart and working hard. They've been doing a terrific job. Federal authorities are also providing tremendous support to the governor, he thanked me for that. We are here to provide any other assistance is needed. We are ready, willing, and able.
Above all else we must remember this truth: no matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country, we love our God, we love our flag, we're proud of our country, we're proud of who we are. So we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it. And we want to see what we are doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.
My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history an our future together. So important. We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other."
Not only did Trump's speech refuse to condemn the actions of the white nationalists specifically, it also took the somber events of the day as an opportunity to talk about the job growth and economic boons that he seems to feel he deserves credit for. Saturday's events deserved an excoriating of the racist rhetoric of the radical right wing, and Trump did not deliver that.