President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to urge unity among Americans after violence broke out at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America,” Trump wrote. “Lets come together as one!”
A later tweet used typically Trumpian language to describe the turn of events in the Virginia city, which prompted the state’s governor to declare a state of emergency: “Charlottesville sad!”
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan likewise condemned the violence as well as the “vile bigotry” that fueled it. So-called “alt-right” protesters shouted anti-LGBT slurs, Nazi slogans and racist chants and clashed with both counter-protesters and law enforcement.
“The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry,” Ryan wrote.
The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.
– Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 12, 2017
Following clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, Virginia governor Terry McCauliffe declared a state of emergency.
Police also demanded that hundreds of people vacate Emancipation Park, where a rally was scheduled to take place at noon.
“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe said, placing the blame on “mostly out-of-state protesters.”
Groups of white nationalists descended on Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and were met by counter-protesters, leading to violence that began Friday night.
Unrest intensified on Saturday, as a vehicle plowed into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally, killing one and injuring 19. More than 30 were hurt in total as a result of events at the rally. Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed when a police helicopter assisting with the melee crashed outside of Charlottesville. The incident is under investigation but police say that foul play is not suspected.
Following news of the violence Saturday morning, a number of celebrities weighed in, with actor Seth Rogen bluntly declaring, “By the way, f— these nazi motherf—ers,” adding the hashtag, “#Charlottesville.”