Politics

Virginia governor: Charlottesville violence was not ‘both sides’

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe gave a press conference Sunday.
Evelyn Hockstein/Washington Post
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe gave a press conference Sunday.

The governor of Virginia had something to say about President Trump’s controversial statements Tuesday.

Trump, speaking to reporters from the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, repeated his assertion that there is “blame on both sides” after the violence in Charlottesville, Va. During Saturday’s events, a 20-year-old man allegedly drove into a crowd of people counterprotesting a white nationalist rally, killing one woman and injuring at least 19 more.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump asked at his press conference.

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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe almost immediately slammed the comments, saying simply, “This was not ‘both sides.’ ”

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“Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community,” McAuliffe wrote.

He also criticized Trump for rubbing salt in the wounds of the state, which is “still reeling from one of the largest outpourings of hatred and violence we have experienced in recent history.”

“We need real leadership, starting with our president,” McAuliffe wrote. “Leaders from every corner of this nation and every partisan point of view have denounced these people and their acts in plain terms without hesitation or dissembling. The American people need the same from their president and we need it now.”