Following mounting pressure from the Republicans and Democrats alike, President Donald Trump responded to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. In his statement, the president directly condemned Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists, two days after the violent clashes left one woman dead.
“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” he said in a hastily arranged statement to reporters at the White House.
However, white supremacists were none too pleased with his too-little-too-late condemnation and refused to take it “seriously.”
So-called alt-right leader Richard Spencer, 39, said he doesn’t think Trump condemned his movement in the statement.
“The statement today was more Kumbaya nonsense. He sounded like a Sunday school teacher. I just don’t take him seriously ... it sounded so hollow and vapid. Only a dumb person would take those lines seriously,” he said.
He further added, “I don't think he condemned it, no. Did he say 'white nationalist'? ‘Racist’ means an irrational hatred of people. I don't think he meant any of us.”
The white nationalist leader also said White House top advisers, former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon and speechwriter Stephen Miller, were "connected to the alt-right" in a way that others in the White House are not.
Nathan Damigo, another white supremacist filmed punching a 95-pound female protester in Berkeley, California, in April, also said he was not too worried about Trump’s statement.
Instead, he said he was “disappointed” in Trump but the “statements were vague, they were ambiguous, and oftentimes people in his position will talk that way to skirt around difficult issues. When Trump says that he denounces racism that could mean many different things to different people.”
Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke was also not pleased with Trump’s statement. Following the condemnation, Duke took to Twitter and claimed that Trump had been manipulated by the media.
It's amazing to see how the media is able to bully the President of the United States into going along with their FAKE NEWS narrative. https://t.co/xFkpEo0Dqm— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) August 14, 2017
Hours later, he directly targeted Trump, claiming white nationalists abhor violence in a video rant. He further said “it’s just ridiculous” that Trump felt he had to make Monday’s statement.
“President Trump, please, for God’s sake, don’t feel like you need to say these things. It’s not going to do you any good,” Dude said.