McConnell Condemns Statements but Not Trump

'There are no good neo-Nazis'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2017 4:54 PM CDT
On Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke out against the "ideology of racial hatred" without calling out President Trump directly for his comments on Charlottesville.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – "There are no good neo-Nazis," Sen. Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. “We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred," the Hill quotes the Senate majority leader as saying. "Those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms." McConnell went on to say that all Americans "have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head" and made it clear that the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and KKK members behind the violence in Charlottesville are not welcome in his state of Kentucky or America. The groups behind the Unite the Right rally last weekend in Virginia had been planning an event in Lexington.

USA Today notes McConnell failed to mention President Trump by name in his apparent condemnation of the president's comments on Charlottesville. It's possible McConnell—whose wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, was standing next to Trump during the president's Tuesday press conference—was attempting to avoid antagonizing Trump supporters, according to the Los Angeles Times. But a source close to McConnell tells CNN the senator—while privately upset about Trump's comments—didn't want to directly criticize the president because it might look like payback for Trump blasting him last week on the failure of health care. McConnell also still needs to work with Trump next month on a deal to fund the government. (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)

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