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Mike Pence
Vice President-elect Mike Pence waves as he arrives at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 in New York. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mike Pence defended Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville


Updated August 13, 2017 09:32 PM EDT

Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a press conference in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday night.

“We have no tolerance for hate and violence, white supremacists or neo-Nazis or the KKK,” Pence said.

Pence added that the president had “clearly and unambiguously” condemned the violent and deadly rally. The vice president went on the criticize the media for scrutinizing the way Trump responded.

“We should be putting the attention where it belongs, and that is on those extremist groups that need to be pushed out of the public debate entirely and discredited for the hate groups and dangerous fringe groups that they are," he said.

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci criticized President Donald Trump Sunday on ABC News' "This Week" for his response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Scaramucci said the president should have been "much harsher."

“I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that. I applaud Gen. McMaster for calling it out for what it is — it’s actually terrorism," Scaramucci said. “And whether it’s domestic or international terrorism, with the moral authority of the presidency you have to call that stuff out."

Saturday, Trump issued a statement calling the violence in Charlottesville "very, very sad."

Trump drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats for not explicitly denouncing white supremacists in the aftermath of the violence. Instead, he blamed "many sides" for the violence.

"Hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now," he said. "We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and ... true affection for each other."

Trump responds to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

Attorney General Jeff Sessions echoed Trump's statement, condemning the violence and denouncing any messages of hate or intolerance.

"This kind of violence is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated," Sessions said. "I want to thank all law enforcement personnel in the area for their commitment to protecting this community and the rule of law."

On Sunday, the White House issued the following statement to expand upon Trump's remarks from Saturday:

"The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups," according to a White House spokesperson. "He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."

During his presidential campaign, Trump came under scrutiny for being slow to condemn white supremacists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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