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Republican Cory Gardner reprimands Trump for Charlottesville remarks: ‘Call evil by its name’

Author: Ernest Luning - August 12, 2017 - Updated: August 13, 2017

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Gardner Western Conservative Summit
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner addresses the Western Conservative Summit on July 21, 2017, in Denver. (Photo by Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, called out President Donald Trump on Saturday for failing to blame white supremacists for escalating violence in Virginia that has claimed at least one life.

“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name,” Gardner said in a tweet. “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”

Gardner was reacting to comments delivered by Trump from his New Jersey golf club blaming “many sides” for clashes between protesters and white supremacists  in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump came under heavy criticism Saturday for refusing to single out white nationalists and others involved in organizing the Charlottesville rally, including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said. The president ignored reporters’ questions asking what he thought about the white nationalists at the rally who said they support him and were inspired by his presidential campaign.

Gardner’s Democratic colleague, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, made a similar point on Twitter Saturday afternoon.

“Today’s attack is not the result of ‘many sides’ — it’s an act of domestic terrorism,” Bennet said in a tweet. “@POTUS should explicitly denounce white supremacy.”

The mayhem was sparked when leaders of the so-called alt-right movement rallied supporters on Friday to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park. Hours after violence erupted Saturday morning between the white nationalists and counter-protesters, a car plowed into a group of people peacefully protesting the rally, killing at least one and injuring at least 26, the Associated Press reported.

In an earlier tweet, Gardner had condemned the violence perpetrated by white nationalists as “domestic terrorism.”

“Praying for those hurt & killed today in Charlottesville. This is nothing short of domestic terrorism & should be named as such,” Gardner tweeted.

Gardner and Bennet had earlier denounced the white nationalist rally as “deeply disturbing” and “contrary to all we stand for as a country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


7 comments

  • seth richardson

    August 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Who started the violence, the white supremacists or the leftist antiifa and BLM?

    It matters.

    Reply

  • Josh

    August 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Democrats are pure evil.

    Reply

  • Perry Noriega

    August 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Flooding Center Gardner say anything about the police who forced all the southern rites so-called white supremacist people to be funneled right into an Tifa and black lives matter protesters who proceeded to beat the hell out of them and the police did nothing? Why didn’t Cory Gardner say anything about the governor of Virginia setting up the so-called white supremacist in southern rights people buy ordering the police to do nothing to prevent them from being railroaded right into those people that beat them up? What about all that?

    Reply

  • Perry Noriega

    August 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Cory Gardner said Nthing about the police who forced all the Southern rights so-called “white supremacist” people to be funneled right into Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters who proceeded to beat the hell out of them and the police did nothing? Why didn’t Cory Gardner say anything about the governor of Virginia setting up the “White Supremacist” Southern Rights people by ordering the police to do Nothing to prevent them from being railroaded right into those people that beat them up? What about all that?

    Reply

  • I'm a Conservative

    August 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Cory Gardner needs to slow down and get some facts before he sends out tweets bashing President Trump. He looks uninformed and like the never-trumper that we know he is. I wonder why the senator didn’t mention BLM or antifa protesters. I wonder why the senator didn’t mention that it’s alleged that the police were told to stand down and that the opposing groups weren’t kept separate. He jumped on the lamestream media’s meme and ended up sounding like the Democrat mayor and Democrat Governor of Virginia.

    Come on, Cory, represent your side of the aisle and stop being such a disappointment to the Republicans of Colorado.

    And with all due respect, Mr. Luning, your reporting would be closer to “fair and balanced” if just once you had mentioned BLM or antifa. Way to skirt the facts and promote an agenda.

    Reply

  • Pat Mitchell

    August 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

    All of the swamp rats hunger for attention no matter how damaging their words might be. No one knows what our president’s thoughts might be in this treacherous time. We need to support our country today as “one”!

    Reply

  • Gordon Ferris

    August 15, 2017 at 5:03 am

    This is a non story. Trump did condemn all groups by name. Gardner is playing politics,

    Reply

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