President Donald Trump is coming under fire from both sides of the aisle for his unwillingness to explicitly condemn the role of white supremacists at the deadly protests in Virginia on Saturday. “We must call evil by its name,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) urged Trump, who had earlier told reporters that “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.
“It is not too much to ask to have a president who explicitly condemns Nazis,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) in a pointed Saturday tweet.
But at least one group appears happy with Trump’s muted comments: White supremacists themselves.
Reacting to Trump’s words on Saturday, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer praised the president’s comments as “good.”
“He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us,” wrote Andrew Anglin, the website’s founder.
“No condemnation at all,” Anglin continued. “When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes The Daily Stormer as a site dedicated to “spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism.” “Jewish Problem” and “Race War” are among the editorial sections that can be found on the site.
“We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” said Duke, speaking at the rally. “That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said he’s going to take our country back. That’s what we gotta do.”
Hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacists descended upon Charlottesville this weekend to protest the proposed removal of a Confederate statue from a city park. Many counter-demonstrators also took to the streets, and heated clashes were reported between the two groups.
Three people died in connection with the violence on Saturday: A 32-year-old woman who was struck by a car that plowed into a group of counter-protesters, and two Virginia state troopers who, while responding to the riots, died in a helicopter crash.