Violence in Charlottesville ‘meets the definition of terrorism,’ McMaster says

FILE - In this July 31, 2017, file photo, national security adviser H.R. McMaster listens during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington. A long-simmering dispute between two top White House aides has boiled into a public battle over the direction President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, as a cadre of conservatives groups are pushing for the ouster of McMaster.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Evan Vucci/Associated Press/File 2017
H.R. McMaster, president Trump’s national security adviser.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s national security adviser said Sunday that the violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Va., ‘‘meets the definition of terrorism.’’

H.R. McMaster told ABC’s ‘‘This Week’’ that ‘‘anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism.’’

One person died Saturday when a car rammed into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville as tension boiled over at a white supremacist rally.


McMaster called it ‘‘a criminal act against fellow Americans. A criminal act that may have been motivated — and we'll see what’s turned up in this investigation — by this hatred and bigotry, which I mentioned we have to extinguish in our nation.’’

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the killing of a 32-year-old woman and the injury of others by a vehicle a ‘‘terrorist attack with a car used as a weapon.’’

He made the comments in an interview Sunday with NBC’s ‘‘Meet the Press.’’

Heather Heyer died when a car rammed into a group of people who were protesting the presence of white supremacists who had gathered in the city for a rally.

The car’s driver, James Alex Fields Jr., was charged with second-degree murder and other counts.


The rally’s purpose was to condemn a decision by the city to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.