Trump's Charlottesville Speech Finally Denounces White Supremacists

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Several days after violent protest erupted in Charlottesville, VA, President Donald Trump specifically denounced white supremacist groups Monday in a speech at the White House. White nationalist protestors gathered in Virginia over the weekend to oppose the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue from its home in Charlottesville. In previous statements, Trump had blamed "many" sides for violence during the clash.

But on Monday, Trump finally acknowledged the role of racism and white supremacist groups in the protests. According to the New York Times, Trump told reporters, "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 everything we hold dear as Americans."

Trump's original comments drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans as not specific enough in condemning the violence enacted in the name of racism and terrorism. On Saturday, a car rammed into a group of counter protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, Healther Heyer. While Trump referred to the events in Charlottesville as "sad" on Twitter, his National Security Advisor on Sunday seemed to contradict the President's neutral tone when Gen. H.R. McMaster called the deadly car attack terrorism.

On Monday, Trump's full remarks about the Charlottesville protests began with some words about the economy and jobs, highlighting his administration's accomplishments, before speaking about the issue at hand in Virginia. According to TIME Magazine, Trump said,

Trump then exited the room without taking questions from reporters. While some were angry that he did not call out the alt-right for their role in Charlottesville from the beginning, Trump finally denounced them in his speech.