President Trump’s comments following the white supremacist violence in Virginia this weekend may make it harder for him to work with Republicans in Congress, according to U.S. Senator from Delaware Chris Coons.
Following Saturday’s violent confrontation in Charlottesville between white supremacist protestors and counterprotestors, President Trump said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.”
That statement stopped short of specifically calling out white supremacist groups, or condemning those who marched in Charlottesville wearing KKK hoods or carrying Nazi flags rallying against the city’s plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, said President Trump’s understated comments are a stark contrast to how he’s spoken out against North Korea.
“He’s failed to step up and speak in a moral and positive way about how we confront the evil that is white nationalism,” Coons said in a satellite interview with MSNBC from WHYY’s Wilmington studio Monday morning. “Many other Republicans in the Senate, many other elected leaders gave sharp, clear denunciations of what happened in Charlottesville, it’s disappointing the President continues to step back at moments when he really should step forward.”
In contrast, Coons said Trump has been “too belligerent and aggressive” in his comments about North Korea’s nuclear threats, which Trump said last week, “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”