Trump revives debate on hate groups, then condemns them
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a resolution condemning white supremacists and hate groups, hours after reviving his assertion that there were “bad dudes” among the people who assembled to oppose a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
“You know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also,” the president told reporters aboard Air Force once, sparking another round of criticism that the president has failed to adequately condemn hate speech.
The resolution, passed by Congress earlier this week, condemns “the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place” in Charlottesville as well as white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.
It also urges the president and his administration to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy,” and calls on the Justice Department and other federal agencies to “use all resources available” to address the growing prevalence of those groups.
“As Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms,” Trump said in a statement announcing the signing. He called on Americans to move forward “as one people” and “to rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Trump’s earlier comments on Charlottesville came one day after he met in private with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s lone black Republican, at the White House.