President Trump defended participants in a white supremacist rally and blamed the “alt-left” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend in a press conference Tuesday. The president said there were “fine people” on every side of the clashes, ultimately failing once again to condemn white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and members of the KKK.
The comments quickly attracted a firestorm of controversy from people on both sides of the isle, including many members of Congress, former presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, and 2012 Republican nominee for president Mitt Romney.
Only a handful of Republican members of Congress have directly criticized Trump in statements critical of the president’s remarks as of Wednesday afternoon. Many others have released statement indirectly criticizing the president’s comments without referring to Trump by name or title. Neither House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mentioned Trump in statements following the president’s remarks Tuesday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was particularly critical of Trump in statements released Wednesday. “Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer,” Graham said. “I, along with many others, do not endorse this moral equivalency. Many Republicans do not agree with and will fight back against the idea that the Party of Lincoln has a welcome mat out for the David Dukes of the world.”
Lindsey Graham attacks Trump in a statement for his "moral equivalency" pic.twitter.com/i57fxUnB3E
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) August 16, 2017
Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI) insensitively joked, “I think America needs more unity and less divisiveness…meaning @realDonaldTrump should focus more on golf & have less press conferences.”
I think America needs more unity and less divisiveness…meaning @realDonaldTrump should focus more on golf & have less press conferences.
— Dave Trott (@repdavetrott) August 16, 2017
Notably, Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA), who represents Charlottesville in the House, has yet to comment publicly on Trump’s most recent remarks.
You can use the map to see how Republican members of Congress from every state have (or have not) responded since Tuesday night. This post will be updated when additional members comment.