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Sunday, August 13, 2017

White House: White supremacists included in Trump's condemnation of violence

White House: White supremacists included in Trump's condemnation of violence
By Julia Manchester - 08-13-17 11:19 AM EDT

The White House on Sunday defended President Trump's remarks denouncing the violence in Charlottesville, Va., one day earlier, saying his condemnation includes "white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups."

"The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred," the White House said in a statement.

"Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups," a spokesperson added.

"He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."

The official statement comes after Trump took bipartisan heat on Saturday for not directly calling out hate groups in his remarks, and for blaming "many sides" for the violence.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides - on many sides," Trump said at a press conference from his New Jersey golf course.

"It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time," he continued, before highlighting his administration's accomplishments.

Trump frequently lambasted former President Barack Obama for not using the phrase "radical Islamic terror" in his comments following attacks.

Trump first condemned the violence in Charlottesville via Twitter on Saturday, and called for national unity.

Three people died in Charlottesville during a white supremacist rally on Saturday, including one counter-protester and two police officers whose helicopter crashed, and dozens were left injured.

White nationalist groups had gathered in the city to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the crash.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency following the violent outbreak.

--This report was last updated at 12:53 p.m.

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