President Trump on Monday specifically condemned white supremacist groups in the wake of the weekend's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. The key quote: "Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said in an afternoon news conference, per Politico. Trump had taken much criticism for failing to call out those groups in his initial comments on Saturday. "Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America," said Trump Monday. Related coverage:
- Full text: Read the president's full statement via Politico. He said the "horrific attack" that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer "fills us with grief" and promised that "justice will be delivered." He also spoke of troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, who died when their chopper crashed.
- Victim's mother: Susan Bro, mother of Heyer, thanked Trump for his "words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred," per the Hill.
- Common criticism: Trump's condemnation of the racist groups was "necessary," writes Chris Cillizza at CNN. "Here's the problem: It came two days too late." At the New York Times, Frank Bruni argues that Trump's two-day delay "upped the ante" for Monday's comments, and they ended up being "passionless." Plus, he opened his remarks by bragging about the economy, and Bruni found that to be offensively out of place.
- Familiar foe: Trump clashed with CNN's Jim Acosta over the delay, and each ended up accusing the other of spreading fake news. See video at Axios.
- Bannon: Trump should fire Steve Bannon and other "hard-right populists" in the West Wing, says Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, per the New York Times. Greenblatt also called for an investigation by the Justice Department into whether any Trump aides have ties to hate groups.
- Another rally: A "Confederate heritage advocate" has sought permission to hold a rally at a Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Va., in September, per the Daily Progress, but he says he doesn't want KKK members showing up and will withdraw his petition if police can't guarantee safety.
Earlier Monday, Trump lashed out
at Merck's Kenneth Frazier after the African-American CEO quit a presidential panel in protest of Trump's initial response. (Read more President Trump