Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) claimed on Monday that President Donald Trump is partly responsible for the violent Charlottesville terror attack on Saturday.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Sanders told reporters that he felt Trump had partial responsibility for the violence in Charlottesville.
“How much, if any responsibility do you think that the Trump administration has for conjuring that behavior?” a reporter asked Sanders.
Sanders answered, “Look, I think it is — when you have a president who doesn’t have the guts to say what the vast majority of the people understand to be true, that white supremacy and neo-Nazism have got to be condemned, he can’t even do that! The message he is sending out to racists and neo-Nazis all over the country is, ‘It’s OK.’ In fact, you heard some language to that. ‘The president hasn’t condemned us. Why don’t we do more rallies? Why don’t we spread the word of white supremacy and racism and neo-Nazism?’ So do I think the president bears some responsibility for that? Absolutely, yes.”
Trump on Monday clarified his stance on the Charlottesville attack, and fully denounced white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
During a press conference, Trump said:
“Racism is evil — and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. … Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.”
Trump’s initial statement, which caused much division among his supporters as well as the media, read:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, this has been going on for a long, long time. … As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in our souls.”