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President Donald Trump speaks regarding the ongoing situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump called out the KKK and white supremacist groups after the Charlottesville violence


Updated August 14, 2017 12:50 PM EDT

President Trump on Monday said "racism is evil" after violence erupted between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

"Racism is evil," he said at the White House. "And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. And we were all made by the same almighty god."

Trump also called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), white supremacy and other hate groups "repugnant to all we hold dear as Americans."

"We are a nation founded on the principle that that we are all created equal," he said. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America."

Some Twitter users on Monday criticized Trump's remarks on the bloodshed in Charlottesville, which resulted in the deaths of three people.

Other people on the social media platform defended Trump, who has faced criticism in recent days how forcefully he condemned white nationalists involved in this weekend's upheaval.

Trump's remarks came after he met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray about last weekend's unrest in Charlottesville.

"To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held accountable," he said after confirming the Justice Department has opened a civil rights probe into the matter.

Trump faced criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike over the weekend for initially blaming the violence in Charlottesville on "many sides" Saturday.

Critics argued that Trump should have more forcefully condemned white nationalists who participated in last weekend's demonstrations in the Virginia city.

One person died and 19 more were injured last Saturday after a man with ties to white nationalist groups drove his car into counter-protesters.

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has since been charged with second-degree murder and other charges related to the death of Heather Heyer, 32.

White nationalists descended on Charlottesville last weekend to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee there.

Two Virginia state police officers died last Saturday when a helicopter crashed while they were responding to violence between the white nationalists and counter-protesters.

Updated August 14, 2017 12:39 PM EDT

Trump speaks at the White House.

President Trump on Monday will speak from the White House following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend that erupted between white nationalist and counter-protesters there.

CNN reported that Trump is expected to call racism "evil" and denounce specific groups related to the bloodshed there, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of three people.

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