WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump weighed in Sunday on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, with an appeal for unity, saying there was “no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”
A woman was killed and 26 injured in the university town Saturday when a car plowed into a crowd after a white nationalist protest rally turned violent.
Trump, who has a following among white supremacist groups attracted to his nationalist rhetoric, has come under fire for blaming the Charlottesville violence on hatred and bigotry “on many sides.”
Ivanka Trump, who is an adviser to the president, was more pointed in a tweet Sunday calling for unity.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis,” she wrote.
“We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville”
1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017
Her father, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, had intended to speak briefly at a ceremony marking the signing of bipartisan legislation to aid veterans, but he quickly found that those plans were overtaken by the escalating violence in the Virginia college town. One person died and at least 26 others were sent to the hospital after a car plowed into a group of peaceful anti-racist counterprotesters amid days of race-fueled marches and violent clashes.
Officials later linked the deaths of two people aboard a crashed helicopter to the protests, though they did not say how they were linked.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” said Trump. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
After completing his statement and the bill signing, Trump then walked out of the room. He ignored reporters’ shouted questions, including whether he wanted the support of white nationalists who have said they backed him, and whether the car crash in Virginia would be declared to be terrorism if it were deemed intentional.
Following Trump’s comment, several Republicans pushed for a more explicit denunciation of white supremacists.
Jewish groups also condemned Trump’s response.
The American Jewish Committee said in a tweet it was “appalled by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville” and the message of hate they seek to spread.
The organization called on Trump to find “moral clarity” and condemn the violence and racially motivated hatred.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also condemned the violence in a series of tweets.
Greenblatt said that the violence was “predictable” and was “consistent” with hateful messages being put out by groups linked to the alt-right.
He praised Trump for condemning the violence but criticized him for not specifically condemning the white supremacist movement.
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) August 12, 2017
White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition. A few hours after violent encounters between the two groups, a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally, killing a 32-year-old woman. The driver was later taken into custody.