Cory Gardner urges Trump to label Charlottesville white nationalists as “evil”

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Saturday called on President Donald Trump to label as “evil” the white nationalists who clashed with counterprotesters on Saturday at a rally in Virginia, where at least one person died when a car drove into a crowd.

Gardner, the Republican senator from Colorado, in a series of tweets called on Trump to specifically denounce the violence of the white supremacists. Other Republican leaders also denounced white supremacy, joining Gardner in going further than the president’s comments on the matter.

“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” Gardner said in one tweet after the violence that erupted Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”

In another tweet, Gardner stated: “Praying for those hurt & killed today in Charlottesville. This is nothing short of domestic terrorism & should be named as such.”

Shortly after Gardner’s tweets, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a prominent Republican from Florida who lost when he ran against Trump during the 2016 primaries for president, also called on the president to do more to condemn white nationalists.

“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” Rubio tweeted.

Trump earlier on Saturday had not specifically criticized the white nationalist rally and its neo-Nazi slogans. In comments from Bedminister, N.J., Trump blamed “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

The events in Virginia prompted the governor there, Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, to declare a state of emergency. After the white nationalists rally in a city park in Charlottesville, counter protesters had gathered. The events turned deadly when a car plowed into a crowd near a downtown mall there, killing at least one person and injuring at least 19 others.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this display of egregious violence on many sides,” Mr. Trump said in his remarks. He also offered a call for unity among Americans of “all races, creeds and colors.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, also issued a tweet denouncing the violence.

“The events in VA are contrary to all we stand for as a country,” Bennet said in the tweet,” Bennet said. “Embrace inclusion, celebrate differences — that’s the America we believe in.”

In tweets he issued, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock stated: “For the future of our country, leaders & community must all denounce these hate fueled acts.”

Hancock also issued another tweet that stated: “My heart wrenches for VA & I pray for the safety of all in #Charlottesville during these horrific turn of events.

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