Trump Condemns White Supremacists in Wake of Charlottesville1:35
DONALD Trump has bowed to pressure and explicitly condemned white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan after a racism-fuelled rally turned deadly.
“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminal thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Mr Trump said in a five-minute speech at the White House on Monday afternoon.
“We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal: We are equal in the eyes of our creator, we are equal under the law and we are equal under our constitution.
“Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”
The Trump administration has launched a Department of Justice inquiry into the Charlottesville violence, which saw one woman killed and 20 other injured when a Nazi sympathiser allegedly rammed a car through the crowd.
Mr Trump did not refer to the car attack as “terrorism”, despite many senators, including those on his own side, imploring him to do so.
“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered,” the President said.
“As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.
“It has no place in America and, as I have said many times before, no matter the colour of our skin, we all live under the same stars, we all salute the same great flag and we are all made by the same almighty god.
“We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence.
“We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Mr Trump also paid tribute to the woman who died, Heather Heyer, 32, and the two Virginia state troopers killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the rally.
“Her death fills us with grief and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love,” the President said of Ms Heyer.
“We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth and their country.
“Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplify the very best of America and our hearts go out to their families, their friends and every member of American law enforcement.
“These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.
“In times such as these, America has always shown its true character, responding to hate with love, division with unity and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.”
Mr Trump spent the first minute of his five-minute speech talking up the strength of the US economy under his leadership.