Amid scrutiny from others saying he didn’t go far enough to condemn the domestic terrorist attack Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump addressed the situation from the White House on Monday.
But before doing so, he touted how his administration has aided the U.S. economy and helped create “one million jobs.”
After listing his administration’s accomplishments thus far, Trump, in the middle of a 17-day vacation, directed his speech toward the Charlottesville attack, directly condemning it. The car attack in Charlottesville left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead and 19 others injured.
Trump said he met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the morning at the White House and they have now opened up a civil rights investigation into the attack.
“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable,” Trump said. “Justice will be delivered.”
Trump reiterated the statement he gave hours after the tragedy, saying there’s no place in America for the hatred the demonstration brought forth.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, it has no place in America,” Trump said. “And as I’ve said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag and we are all made by the same almighty God.
“We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Trump also called out the KKK, the neo-Nazis and “other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” He also directly named Heyer, saying that the nation is offering her family “our thoughts, our prayers and our love.”
Watch a video of the remarks below:
Many politicians have criticized Trump for not going far enough in condemning the attack. He stepped to the podium at his New Jersey golf resort shortly after receiving news of Saturday’s attack and read a statement, saying that there’s been an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. … It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”
A slew of fellow Republicans slammed Trump for not being direct enough in his words, and Sessions said earlier in the day that Trump “absolutely” needed to call out Nazi’s in general while defending Trump’s response.
About one hour before Saturday’s attack, Trump criticized the hatred brewing from the “Unite the Right” rally, which brought hundreds of white nationalists from around the nation to Charlottesville.
“We ALL must be united and condemn all that hate stands for,” Trump tweeted. “There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”
The demonstrators flocked to the University of Virginia campus to protest a proposal that would remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a local park. The protests started Friday with demonstrators holding torches and performing Nazi-like salutes, shouting things such as “White lives matter,” and “anti white.”
In total, the clashes between Unite the Right attendees and counter protesters left three people dead and 34 injured.