Gard­ner urges Trump to la­bel white na­tion­al­ists as “evil”

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Christo­pher N. Osher

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.”

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. “Em­brace in­clu­sion, cel­e­brate dif­fer­ences — that’s the Amer­ica we be­lieve in.”

U.S. Rep. Di­ana Degette, a Demo­crat rep­re­sent­ing Den­ver, in a tweet said that “do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism in #Charlottesville must not go unan­swered. Amer­ica we are bet­ter than this.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Coff­man, a Repub­li­can rep­re­sent­ing Aurora, said in a tweet: “Evil, no mat­ter its face, must be con­demned.” He added that he was “heart­bro­ken to hear about loss of life in to­day’s do­mes­tic terror at­tack.”

U.S. Rep. Scott Tip­ton, a Repub­li­can from Cortez, said in a tweet: “All Amer­i­cans have the right to peace­ful protest and free speech, but there is no room for vi­o­lence in our so­ci­ety.”

U.S. Rep. Doug Lam­born, a Repub­li­can from Colorado Springs, and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Repub­li­can from Wind­sor, did not is­sue com­ments on the vi­o­lence.

Gov. John Hick­en­looper said in a tweet that he was “heart­bro­ken by the vi­o­lence and di­vi­sion.” Hick­en­looper fur­ther said in the tweet, “Ha­tred has no place in our so­ci­ety — now is a time to come to­gether.”

In one tweet, 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.

Other na­tional Repub­li­cans join Gard­ner and Ru­bio call­ing on more con­dem­na­tion of the white na­tion­al­ists. U.S. Sen. Or­rin Hatch, from Utah, in a tweet stated: “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fight­ing Hitler for Nazi ideas to go un­chal­lenged here at home.”

The Demo­cratic mayor of Charlottesville, Michael Signer, crit­i­cized the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion harshly, say­ing,”i’m not go­ing to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re see­ing in Amer­i­can to­day right at the doorstep of the White House and the peo­ple around the pres­i­dent.”

Trump’s com­ments did re­ceive some praise, how­ever, from a white su­prem­a­cist web­site.

“He didn’t at­tack us,” ac­cord­ing to the com­ments posted on the Daily Stormer, the white su­prem­a­cist web­site pro­mot­ing the Charlottesville demon­stra­tion on its Sum­mer of Hate edi­tion.

“He just said the na­tion should come to­gether. Noth­ing spe­cific against us. … No con­dem­na­tion at all. When asked to con­demn, he just walked out of the room. Re­ally, re­ally good. God bless him.”

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