Trump signs resolution condemning white supremacists, other racist groups
US President Donald Trump has signed into law a Congressional resolution "rejecting White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups." The resolution was passed unanimously by Congress earlier this week. It was triggered by the outrage surrounding Trump's reluctance to condemn a violent white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12.
On August 12, white nationalists held a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in protest against plans to remove a statue of US Civil War-era pro-slavery Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee. They were met by counter-protesters. Both sides carried sticks, shields and wore helmets while some white supremacists possessed firearms. Both sides clashed before a car plowed through the counter-protesters, killing one.
On August 16, Trump said both left- and right-wing extremists are to be blamed for the violence in Charlottesville that left one person dead and others injured. Trump's statement reignited a political firestorm, raising questions over leadership in the face of a national crisis. Earlier, Trump was criticized for not specifically condemning violence by the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.
Trump said he was "pleased to sign" the resolution. He said, "as Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms." Trump was widely criticized after he suggested "both sides," i.e. the racist white supremacists and counter demonstrators, were responsible for the violence at Charlottesville. His statement caused his presidential approval ratings to plummet.