Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists

Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists
# 14 August 2017 22:09 (UTC +04:00)

President Donald Trump on Monday explicitly denounced groups behind a hate rally in Virginia this past weekend that quickly devolved into violent clashes, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

“Racism is evil," Trump said at the White House. "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 faced a torrent of criticism after his initial comments omitted direct mention of the hate groups behind the rally that left one dead and nearly 20 other victims injured in Charlottesville.

Merck pharmaceuticals CEO Kenneth Frazier decided to resign from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council earlier Monday.

Frazier is one of only a few black CEOs to helm a Fortune 500 company, and said in a statement announcing his resignation Trump “must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy”.

He did not directly mention Trump’s earlier response to this weekend’s violent clashes, but said “as CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism”.

Trump quickly blasted Frazier on Twitter, saying that following his departure from the council the CEO “will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was identified as the driver of the car that plowed into a crowd Saturday. Heather Heyer, a paralegal, walking with counter protestors was killed in the crash.

Fields Jr. was photographed on the front line of the white supremacist gathering with other white men holding a shield emblazoned with the black and white emblem of one of the hate groups that participated in the Friday to Saturday rally.

The group, Vanguard America, has denied Fields is a member.

Before meeting Trump at the White House, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described the "evil attack" as domestic terrorism.

"It does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute," Sessions told ABC News. "We are pursuing it in the [Justice Department] in every way that we can make a case."

"You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought, because this is unequivocally an unacceptable, evil attack," Sessions said.

The FBI's terrorism investigators and civil rights division are working the case, according to Sessions.

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