President Donald Trump and leaders throughout the country are responding to the violence at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on August 12:
Full Report from White House Press Office:
During a bill sign ceremony at his golf club in Bedminster, Trump addressed the situation in Charlottesville for about four minutes.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence 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 a 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 got 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 well in so many ways,” Trump said, then pointing to “record employment,” new companies coming into the United States and renegotiated trade deals. “We have so many incredible things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very very sad.”
Trump recognized the state and local law enforcement in Virginia, along with the National Guard for “working smart and working hard.” He said that McAuliffe thanked him for he support provided so far and that the government is “ready, willing and able” to provide more.
“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 are 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’re 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 and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other. Ideally, we have to love each other.”
Trump then shifted to talking about the Veterans Affairs Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 for about 4.5. (More info in earlier pool reports.) Trump focused most heavily on speeding up the time it takes to get veterans care and giving them more choices. He also said that the VA is now attracting higher quality doctors and improving facilities. He recognized and named Republican lawmakers who worked on this legislation. He had his VA secretary lean in and name some Democratic lawmakers who also worked on it.
“See? I can do it,” Trump said.
Trump briefly addressed Charlottesville one more time.
“We have to heal the wounds of our country. These are wounds that have been going on for, really, a long time. And I thought and everybody thought and everybody wants it to heal and it will heal and we’re going to make every effort possible to make sure that that healing procedure goes as quickly as possible. I love the people of our country. I love all of the people. Going to make America great again — but we’re going to make it great for all of the people of the United States of America.”
He then shook hands with everyone and started to walk out, only to be stopped and told he needed to sign the bill. Sitting at a small desk decorated with the presidential seal, Trump signed the legislation and joked about who should get the pen.
He then left the room without answering any of the many questions shouted at him, most of which were about the white nationalists who support him.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement on the white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia:
“The white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a reprehensible display of racism and hatred that has no place in our society. I am disgusted by the news, and my thoughts are with those in the Charlottesville community and around the country who have been targeted.
While this incident is alarming, it is not surprising. Hate crimes and shows of hostility toward minorities have recently been surging. Now more than ever we must stand together against those who threaten our brothers and sisters.”
Statement of House Leadership on events in Charlottesville
RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Speaker-designee Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Majority Leader-designee Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), and Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) issued the following statement Saturday on the events in Charlottesville.
“The rhetoric and actions of racists, white supremacists, and Nazi-ideologues in Charlottesville last night and today are disgusting and vile. We are heartbroken that innocent life was taken in what appears to be a violent act of terrorism. This is not what Virginia believes in or stands for and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We are grateful for the bravery and professionalism of local law enforcement, the Virginia State Police, and the Virginia National Guard. They are heroic public servants.”
DNC Chair Tom Perez on White Supremacist Protests in Charlottesville
DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement in response to last night’s parade and today’s protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia:
“The demonstrations by white supremacists this weekend have no place in our country. This vile display of racism is an attack on our democracy and an affront to humanity.
“America is no place for bigots. And to be silent in the face of their hatred is to condone it. That’s why it is on all of us to stand up to these reprehensible acts and speak out against white supremacy. We cannot allow a group of cowards instill fear in our communities.
“The Democratic Party stands with Governor McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Northam, the people of Virginia, and every American united against these vicious and violent attempts to divide us.”
Governor McAuliffe Statement on Emergency Declaration in Response to Violence in Charlottesville
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement regarding the emergency declaration he authorized this morning:
“At 11:28 a.m., the Virginia State Police contacted me to request a state of emergency and I immediately authorized the declaration. We have maintained close contact with the Virginia State Police, the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and other state and local officials on the ground in Charlottesville, and I agree that the situation in Charlottesville warrants an emergency declaration by me, in order to aid City and County law enforcement in their efforts to restore public safety and order in the City of Charlottesville and the surrounding area. In the days and weeks leading up to this event, my Administration engaged in extensive planning and preparation to ensure that the rally in Charlottesville could be held in a safe and lawful environment. These preparations included the deployment of a large number of state troopers, as well as the Virginia National Guard for support.
“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property. I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours. The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety.
“My entire team will continue to monitor this situation throughout the day, and take appropriate action as necessary.”
Gillespie Statement on Events in Charlottesville
RICHMOND, VA – 2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie today released the following statement on the events in Charlottesville:
“Having a right to spew vile hate does not make it right. It is painful to see these ugly events in Charlottesville last night and today. These displays have no place in our Commonwealth, and the mentality on display is rejected by the decent, thoughtful and compassionate fellow Virginians I see every day. I know we all appreciate the law enforcement officials maintaining order and protecting public safety there.”
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
House Dems Condemn White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville
RICHMOND, Va. – The House Democratic Caucus condemns the White Nationalist rally to be held today in Charlottesville.
“As the former mayor of this beautiful, inclusive and progressive community, I am saddened that our city may draw thousands who would come here to sow division and hate,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “The alt-right agenda has been brought to Charlottesville by people who are neither from our community nor who represent its values. We will strive to ensure the day does not erupt into violence, and we will redouble our efforts to remain civically engaged so that darkness does not obscure our light.”
“The House Democratic Caucus stands in strong support of the City of Charlottesville and of every person who has been marginalized by discrimination and hate – whether through the coded dog whistles of politicians or by overt violence that we pray we won’t see today,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “We thank our law enforcement officers and first responders for putting their lives on the line, today and every day, to keep our communities safe.”