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GOP afraid of Trump's damage in the wake of Charlottesville attacks

22 August 2017

At Tuesday's news conference, Trump did not say whether he will travel to Charlottesville and also said he had not spoken with Heyer's family.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our handsome statues and monuments", Trump tweeted. "Are we gonna take down statues of George Washington?. you're changing history, you're changing culture", suggesting that Lee and Confederate general Stonewall Jackson, who both led rebel Southern forces in the Civil War to secede from the U.S., were equivalent to the US' first president and Thomas Jefferson.

That's one question the president should answer, in the wake of the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, in which hundreds of white nationalists, who gathered to protest the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, clashed with counterprotesters.

While Trump condemned the neo-Nazi and white supremacists who protested, he insisted there were "very fine people" among those protesting the removal of Lee's statue in Charlottesville.

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"I have no idea where we go from here", a veteran Republican strategist told the Hill on condition of anonymity on Saturday, calling the president's failure to immediately condemn the white supremacists a "disaster".

Corker's criticism comes after his Senate Republican colleagues Lindsey Graham of SC and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, joined almost 80 House Democrats this week in supporting a resolution to formally denounce President Donald Trump for suggesting that "both sides" were to blame for recent violence that erupted between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Two days later, Trump changed his stance, echoing the language used by Hatch and Gardner: "Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists". She also advised Mr Trump to "think before you speak". "These groups are not representative of American values". As has increasingly become the pattern, Trump is heading out to his support base in Middle America for succor, even as the coastal liberals disdain him. Stephen Lynch, D-South Boston, and Michael Capuano, D-Somerville, also signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution censuring Trump.

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The president initially took heat for blaming "many sides" for the violence.

"I don't think it does", said former Republican National Committee communications director Doug Heye, when asked if Bannon's departure made a difference. "White supremacy is repulsive", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Graham, one of Trump's rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, responded in a statement. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left, you've just called them the left, that came, violently attacking the other group. Well done. However, because of the manner in which you have handled the Charlottesville tragedy you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country. "For the sake of our Nation - as our President - please fix this", Graham said. "History is watching us all".

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GOP afraid of Trump's damage in the wake of Charlottesville attacks