Vermont leaders condemn Trump comments on Charlottesville

Vermont’s Republican governor and two senators have all spoken out against President Donald Trump’s comments in the aftermath of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that “many sides” were to blame for the violence. National Republicans and Democrats have criticized him for not immediately denouncing what has been deemed a terrorist attack by a white supremacist.

Trump held a press conference on Monday — two days after the violence, in which he castigated neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan. On Tuesday, he blamed the “alt-left,” and on Thursday the president said it was “foolish” to take down statues of Confederate soldiers.

Gov. Phil Scott made comments on social media Saturday about the events in Charlottesville and issued an official statement for the first time on Thursday. “As the son of a disabled World War II veteran, who died when I was 11 from injuries sustained in the war, I am personally troubled by the President’s comments,” Scott said in a written statement.

“There is no circumstance I can think of, where a president – or any elected official – should equate the hate speech of Nazis and white supremacists with the protests of Americans who confront them,” Scott said.

“When those embedded embers flare up – and let’s be honest, they still do, far too often – every elected leader, and indeed every American, has an obligation to stand up to bring people together around our core values and our belief that all people are created equal,” the governor said.

“We must speak out against racism and fascism in any form, at any scale, any time they rear their ugly head,” Scott said. “ And, like in World War II, when these ideologies were accepted and promoted by leaders in governments, it posed a clear threat to our democratic republic, and it was confronted.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy said in an interview Thursday that Trump should not be retweeting “what are basically Nazi slogans” or “standing up for people who are espousing Nazi ideas.”

“We fought the Nazis in World War II,” Leahy said. “We lost thousands and thousands of brave men and women doing that. We saved democracy along with our allies who also lost even more. You don’t praise people who are trying to bring back Naziism.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issued a statement Tuesday directly to Trump: “You are embarrassing our country and the millions of Americans who fought and died to defeat Nazism. The violence in Charlottesville was not caused by the ‘alt-left,’ (whatever that may be). It was caused by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who are attempting to spread their hateful and racist ideology.”

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Erin Mansfield

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  • Homer sulham

    I wish someone would explain why Trump was so wrong when he blamed both sides. The KKK/altright had permits the left Antifa didn’t, as I understand it. Now I’m not condoning either side, I would just like to see a rational explanation.

    • John French

      unfortunately you’ll have to wait for the history books to be written…. if you can believe the author.

    • Steve Baker

      The Lefts new tactic is to classify anything they deem offensive speech as “Violence” thereby giving them the right to respond with Violence.
      Middlebury College was a great example…Charles Murray was hardly a violent person, he has some controversial views; many that are more in line with the founders of Planned Parenthood than the Alt-Right.
      But the Leftist needed to turn to Violence. We don’t need to mention the same at U.C. Berkeley, Portland, San Jose, Seattle.

      BLM protest in Seattle this year
      A woman who described herself as a preschool teacher declared,

      “We need to start killing people.”
      “First off, we need to start killing the White House,” she added.
      “The White House must die. The White House, your f—ing White House, your f—ing presidents, they must go! F— the White House.”And, “F— white supremacy, f— the U.S. empire, f— your imperialist a– lives. That s— gotta go.
      Plenty of Hate Speech to go around. All should be protected.

      • David Bell

        Did the leader of BLM say he was glad people died the way the alt-right Trump supported KKK leader did about the peaceful protester his member murdered?

    • David Bell

      I love the right wing response to alt-right violence. Hey, they had a permit and stuff, so that means the left was far worse. Sure, they didn’t kill anyone…but …but… no permit!

      • Daphne Black

        Even when they did.

    • Dennis Works

      Homer sulham: Another false narrative, or “fake news” from President Trump. The counter-protesters in Charlottesville DID indeed have a permit for a counter-protest against the ‘Unite the Right’ alt-right rally. A gentleman by the name of Walt Heinecke obtained the permit for a public demonstration at two parks in Charlottesville, McGuffey Park and Justice Park, within one and two blocks, of Emancipation Park, the location of a Robert E. Lee statue and the destination for the Unite the Right rally. Note that Miriam Dickler, a spokeswoman for the city of Charlottesville said that counter-protesters would have been permitted even outside of the two park locations specified in the permit. She said: “A permit does not bar other individuals from entry to a public park (such as Emancipation Park), nor does it restrict who can be on streets or sidewalks outside of and/or adjacent to the park.”

      Note that the NIGHT BEFORE the scheduled ‘Unite the Right’ alt-right rally on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at noon, the white supremacists illegally marched through the UVA campus, carrying torches and chanting things such as the Nazi-associated phrase “blood and soil”. During the scheduled rally on Saturday, Matthew Heimbach, a prominent member of the white nationalist movement, ordered his followers to push down the metal police barricades that cut the park into separate zones, resulting in direct contact between the white supremacists and the counter protesters. Then of course, you had the white supremacist driver of the car who ran over and murdered Heather Heyer and injured several others.

    • Daphne Black

      You understand incorrectly. They DID have a permit.

    • Mike McNally

      One side believes that only white people belong on this earth and will kill non-whites if given the chance.. The other side wants Nazis to go away, and will react with force if needed. You cannot treat those sides as equals.

  • Homer sulham

    Do you think that this “reporter” might have a somewhat biased opinion? I’m sure the TV images cover more than what could be seen on site.

  • Mike McNally

    Obama condemned the attack, he didn’t blame the club-goers for being there. Trump blamed everyone in Virigina, even though it was neo-nazis who murdered a person and beat people.

  • Mike McNally

    They’re certainly not believers in genocide of everyone who doesn’t have their preferred skin color.

    Communists wanting to nationalize healthcare or takedown capitalism are not as much of a threat as people who want to wipe non-whites from the earth. That’s not hard for anyone to understand. Death and destruction of non-whites is the goal of the alt-right and neo-nazi groups. There is no comparison between anti-fa and nazis.