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Monday 23 July 2018

Trump condemns white supremacists and says racism is evil

Mr Trump has spoken out against Saturday's violence (AP)
Mr Trump has spoken out against Saturday's violence (AP)

US president Donald Trump said "racism is evil" as he condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "criminals and thugs".

Mr Trump spoke in the White House after meeting US attorney general Jeff Sessions and FBI director Christopher Wray about the racially-charged violence on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one woman dead.

The US leader has come under fire for his comments on Saturday that "many sides" are to blame for the violence.

In those remarks, he did not single out white supremacists or any other hate group, even as senior Republicans and others in the White House condemned them by name.

Mr Trump described the hate groups as "repugnant" and also used his remarks to call for unity.

"We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans," he said.

His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said earlier that the violence in which a car ploughed into a group of counter-protesters, killing one person, "does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute".

He told ABC's Good Morning America: "You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought, because this is an unequivocally unacceptable and evil attack that cannot be accepted in America."

Mr Sessions said he expects to hear more from Mr Trump on the matter after meeting with him, as well as officials from the FBI. The president added the late-morning meeting with Mr Sessions and FBI director Christopher Wray to his Monday schedule.

"We will not allow these extremist groups to obtain credibility," Mr Sessions told TV show CBS This Morning.

In the hours after the incident on Saturday, Mr Trump addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying that he condemns "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides".

AP

Press Association

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