The president has been eerily silent amidst the violent clashes over white nationalism that overtook the university town of Charlottesville on Saturday.
Multiple people have been injured after a car plowed into a crowd of anti-racism protesters who were peacefully marching in downton Charlottesville following the cancellation of a white nationalist rally on Saturday.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had to declare a state of emergency “to aid state response to violence” ahead of the “Unite the Right” rally. City officials declared it an unlawful assembly.
Thousands of white nationalists and right-wing groups descended on the town and violently clashed with counter-protests, leading to an unknown number of arrests. Hours before, the group waved torches and chanted “White lives matter” and Nazi slogans as they marched through the University of Virginia Friday night.
The White House has yet to release a statement. First Lady Melania Trump did tweet that her thoughts, saying that “no good comes from violence.” She did not pushback on the reason for the rally.
Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 12, 2017
Other Republicans have already condemned the violence in Charlottesville, and the message behind it.
“The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said in a tweet.
The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 12, 2017
“This is bigotry. This is racism. These are views we as the American people should reject,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines tweeted.
This is bigotry. This is racism. These are views we as the American people should reject.— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) August 12, 2017
Many on social media wondered at the president’s silence since he is does not hesitate to tweet his thoughts. He is currently on 17-day “working vacation” at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a democrat, tweeted that the president’s silence was “shameful, irresponsible” and “defining.”
President Trump's silence as #Charlottesville roils with racist and fascist provocatation is shameful, irresponsible...and, DEFINING.— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) August 12, 2017
No tweets by Trump on Charlottesville or mosque attack in Minnesota. When Islamic militant attacked guard at the Louvre he Tweeted instantly— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) August 12, 2017
Charlottesville has become the new battleground for white national idealists after the city decided to remove symbols of its confederate past, specifically a statue of General Robert E. Lee.