President Trump two days after Charlottesville violence: 'Racism is evil'

Trump was criticized for not calling out white nationalists after the Charlottesville violence.
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President Donald Trump's initial response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans.

Trump condemned "all that hate stands for." But when speaking to reporters later, he said the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence" came from "many sides, on many sides," NBC News reported.

The president made no mention of terrorism or the white supremacist aspect of the "Unite the Right" rally, as Saturday's gathering was called. 

That lack of acknowledgment led to swift backlash from Democrats, unsurprisingly. But even Republicans called out the president, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Florida) and Cory Gardner (Colorado). 

Minnesota Republicans also condemned the violence and attributed it to racism.

Trump in the past criticized former President Barack Obama for not using the term "radical Islamic Terrorism" when referencing attacks – something Obama was asked about at a town hall.

The president makes clear remarks Monday

After what the New York Times describes as "overwhelming pressure" from both outside and within the White House, the president issued a clear rebuke Monday.

In the statement (which the White House has a transcript of here), Trump said:

"Racism is evil. And 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."

He also said that we "must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence."

The White House put out a statement Sunday saying something similar, but it wasn't clear if the words were coming from the president himself.

Heather Heyer, in Charlottesville to protest the Unite the Right rally, was killed when a car plowed through the counter-protesters. Nineteen others were hurt. 

The suspect, James Alex Fields, is in custody.

Twin Cities group plans another rally

Hundreds of Minnesotans gathered Sunday evening to show solidarity with the victims of violence at the white nationalist rally.

And more will do so again Monday. 

Twin Cities activist groups are planning a solidarity march from 5-7 p.m. in Minneapolis, starting outside the Republican Party office.

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