(WASHINGTON) — President Trump spoke Saturday afternoon in New Jersey about Saturday’s violence that rattled Charlottesville, Virginia, where clashes between white nationalist protesters and counter-demonstrators left at least one dead, saying that he condemns bigotry perpetrated “on many sides.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” Trump said in his address from Bedminster, repeating, “On many sides.”
One person has died in Charlottesville, according to the mayor, and at one point, a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators marching down a street, sending demonstrators flying into the air and causing multiple injuries.
Trump then used Saturday’s press conference to boast about declines in America’s unemployment rate, and said that Americans should come together peacefully in this time.
“We have to respect each other,” Trump said. “Ideally, we have to love each other.”
Earlier in the day, Trump joined a chorus of figures from across the U.S. political spectrum to speak out against the white nationalist rally on Twitter.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
He was joined by Vice President Mike Pence as well as First lady Melania Trump in speaking out about the situation.
Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 12, 2017
Some on social media criticized the timing of Trump’s response to the rally, noting that it emerged after several other prominent political figures had already spoken out about the event.
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