President Donald Trump appeared to have a change of heart on Tuesday, laying blame for the violence in Charlottesville, VA with “both sides” and seemed to let the neo-Nazis and white supremacists he was forced to condemn in an earlier statement on Monday off the hook.
The remarks echoed Trump’s initial sentiments that there was violence and bigotry “on many sides, on many sides.”
While fascists and Klansmen celebrated the president’s flip flop, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe took Trump to task in a scathing statement.
“Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community,” McAuliffe said. “This was not ‘both sides.'”
JUST IN: Virginia Gov. McAuliffe on Pres. Trump's new comments on Charlottesville: "This was not 'both sides.'" pic.twitter.com/ydfEekgjxR
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 15, 2017
McAuliffe called out the president for not doing what a real leader would have done in the situation to unify the American people against the clear displays of right-wing hatred and violence from this past weekend.
“Our Commonwealth and nation are still reeling from one of the largest outpourings of hatred and violence we have experienced in recent history. We need real leadership, starting with our president,” he said. “Leaders from every corner of this nation and every partisan point of view have denounced these people and their acts in plain terms without hesitation or dissembling. The American people need the same from their president and we need it now.”
McAuliffe had already indirectly called out Trump over the weekend for trying to claim the violence stemmed from “many sides,” when he told the Nazis to “go home,” at a time when Trump had yet to declare racism as “evil.”
McAuliffe was also in Charlottesville a day after the attacks, visiting churches as the community tried to put itself back together.
“To the white supremacists and the neo-Nazis who came to our state yesterday, there is no place for you here,” McAuliffe said. “Shame on You.”