President Donald Trump is coming under fire for his initial refusal to specifically condemn white supremacists. Even members of his own party are calling him out for his tepid response to the violence in Charlottesville.
But at least one key Republican remains firmly in his corner.
On Sunday night, Vice President Mike Pence condemned the violence in Virginia, praised Trump’s response to the situation, then slammed the media for its reaction to the president’s statement blaming “many sides” instead of white supremacists.
“We have no tolerance for hate and violence, white supremacists or neo-Nazis or the KKK,” Pence said, according to The Hill. He said Trump “clearly and unambiguously” condemned the violence.
Pence, who is currently in Colombia, also took aim at the press for raising questions about Trump’s response after the president not only refused to condemn the neo-Nazis and KKK on Saturday but walked out when reporters asked about white nationalists.
“I take issue with the fact that many in the national media spent more time criticizing the president’s words than they did criticizing those that perpetuated the violence to begin with,” Pence was quoted as saying.
However, the issue wasn’t just raised by the media.
The white supremacists themselves were heartened by Trump’s response, with one neo-Nazi website praising it as “really, really good.”
The White House later issued a second statement about Charlottesville on Sunday that condemned “all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred” and specifically mentioned ”white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.”
That statement was attributed to a spokesperson and not to Trump himself.