Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday defended President Trump’s response to violence involving white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.
“Racism, white supremacy is totally unacceptable,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “[Trump] was unequivocal in criticizing the racism and bigotry.”
“He explicitly condemned the kind of ideology behind these movements, Nazism, white supremacy, the [Ku Klux Klan],” Sessions added.
“That is his unequivocal position. He totally opposes those kinds of values. His statement yesterday affirmed that, and I think you’ll hear that again today.”
Some Twitter users on Monday criticized Sessions for defending Trump after the president’s response to the unrest in Charlottesville last weekend.
Other people on the social media platform questioned how the Department of Justice would investigate the incident in Charlottesville under Sessions.
Sessions added Monday that Trump “absolutely” condemns neo-Nazis and white supremacists today.
The White House on Sunday clarified Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville the day before.
“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement.
“He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together,” the spokesman added of Trump’s response.
Several Democrats and Republicans alike last weekend criticized Trump for not forcefully denouncing the role of white nationalists in violence in Charlottesville the day before.
One person died in Charlottesville on Saturday after a car drove into protesters, and two others were killed in a helicopter crash related to the incident.
White nationalist organizations gathered in Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday to demonstrate against removing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee there.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) ultimately declared a state of emergency there Saturday when the protests began erupting in violence.
Trump’s initial response to the matter that evening sparked criticism that he was not vocal enough in condemning the white nationalism involved in the incident.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides,” he said at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.