- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
President Donald Trump responded to the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia before a white nationalist rally on Saturday.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
The president continued, “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”
His response came after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville.
The demonstrations precede a “Unite the Right” rally called by white nationalists in response to a plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Two people have been treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to Charlottesville officials.
Trump’s tweet was the first official response to the violence from the White House, and came nearly an hour after First Lady Melania Trump tweeted about the situation in Charlottesville. “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville,” her tweet read.
Before Trump had issued a response, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the president to condemn the violence immediately. “March & rally in Charlottesville against everything the flag stands for. President Trump must condemn in strongest terms immediately,” Schumer tweeted.
Former KKK leader David Duke was in Charlottesville and called the rally a “turning point,” saying that protesters would fulfill Trump’s election promises to “take our country back.”
Politicians across the political spectrum are condemning the violent clashes.