Miami Beach Democratic Rep. David Richardson said Wednesday that President Donald Trump should resign over his comments in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests that left one dead and 19 injured.
“What the country witnessed yesterday was a United States president losing all moral authority to govern. His defense of neo-Nazis, KKK members, and white supremacists is not just ‘Trump being Trump’ or one more opportunity for Republicans to condemn the sin while continuing to prop up the sinner. We’ve seen heads of industry and labor resign in disgust from the President’s jobs council. Today, I challenge Republican elected officials to join me in calling on President Trump to resign,” the HD 113 representative said.
Trump failed to mention neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan or other white supremacist groups by name in his initial remarks following the “Unite the Right” rally that saw thousands descend upon the small Virginia town to protest the removal of a statue and the renaming of a park dedicated to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Instead, Trump said Sunday that “both sides” — interpreted to mean the hate groups and the people who protested them — were to blame for the violence.
After the backlash surrounding his initial statement, the president condemned the white supremacist groups in prepared remarks Monday, but gave a full-throated and unprompted defense of his original statement Tuesday in a news conference.
Trump on Tuesday described the counter protesters as members of the “alt-left,” a term he seemingly reverse-engineered from “alt-right,” the common name for the collection of far-right fringe groups that make up the more unscrupulous side of his base. He also went on to deride the counter protesters for not having a permit and described them as a club-wielding group that charged at the alt-right protesters.
Perhaps his most damaging comment Tuesday was his assertion that there were “very fine people” among the white supremacist groups.
“Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis. And you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides,” he said.