Here's what's happening:
- A car plowed into a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, killing one person after a white supremacist rally was shut down by police, and wounding at least 19 others.
- James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio resident, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the collision. A judge denied him bail during a court appearance Monday. The FBI announced Saturday night that it has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash.
- A state police helicopter also crashed while responding to the protests, killing two officers. Virginia State Police identified the officers as Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Virginia.
- The president's initial statement on Saturday prompted criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, who urged the president to more strongly condemn white supremacist violence.
- City officials in Charlottesville and the governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency after white supremacists gathered in the college town for the "Unite the Right" rally, where they chanted racist and homophobic slogans.
- Hundreds of counterprotesters were also there, including local interfaith leaders, activists, and self-described anti-fascist protesters.
- On Monday, Trump called out White Supremacists, KKK, and Neo-Nazis in statement to the press. "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.
- But on Tuesday, he doubled down on his earlier remarks, defending the group's who organized Saturday's rally, and once again blaming violence on "both sides."
- Early on Wednesday morning, Baltimore began removing its confederate statues amid an ongoing storm over Trump's comments on such monuments.
- The violence in Charlottesville sparked demonstrations took place around the country Sunday, with liberal protesters marching in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and other cities.
Watch BuzzFeed News' coverage of Saturday's events:
After a long silence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, "There are no good neo-Nazis," and doesn't call out Trump by name
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement on Wednesday condemning hate groups and a planned rally in Lexington, Kentucky.
“The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America,” McConnell said in a statement released on Wednesday.
“We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred. There are no good neo-nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. We all have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head," he said.
The Republican senator for Kentucky condemned the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.
— Cora Lewis and Emma Loop
The University of Florida denied Richard Spencer's request to host a speaking event on campus
The University of Florida issued a statement on Wednesday morning announcing that Richard Spencer's request to rent event space on campus was denied "amid serious concerns for safety."
Citing the recent violence in Charlottesville, the university's president, Kent Fuchs, said the decision to deny the request was made after assessing potential risks including the online calls for similar violence in Gainesville.
"I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for," Fuchs said in a statement.
He went on to say that the university remains "unwaveringly dedicated" to free speech but that the "First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others." —Mary Ann Georgantopoulos
Baltimore begins taking down its Confederate monuments overnight
It appears Baltimore isn't wasting any time removing its monuments to the Confederacy.
Just one day after the city council voted to immediately remove four Confederate statues in the city, social media posts showed crews taking the monuments down and carting them away in the middle of the night.
"Mayor Catherine Pugh announced earlier this week that the Confederate monuments would be removed," a spokesperson for the mayor's office told BuzzFeed News. "She decided it was time and ordered it be done overnight."
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, journalists and activists started posting videos of city workers preparing to topple the Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in Baltimore's Wyman Park Dell.
Soon after, videos showed the giant statue of the two Confederate generals on horseback being carted away on the back of a truck.
By the time the statue came down, a small crowd of activists appeared to have gathered to celebrate its removal
Earlier, journalist Baynard Woods tweeted that another Confederate monument had been dismantled
Though not a direct homage to the Confederacy, the monument commemorated Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, which upheld unrestricted slave ownership, preventing slaves and emancipated blacks from becoming US citizens.
"Somewhere in the great eternal ether, Dred Scott is sitting with a scotch and cigar," David Simon, creator of the HBO series The Wire, tweeted, responding to the Taney statue's removal.
Two other statues — the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument, in Baltimore's Mount Royal neighborhood, and the Confederate Women's Monument in Bishop Square Park — were also removed.
The removals come as several cities hasten to dismantle their Confederate monuments in the wake of the violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. The demonstrations, organized to protest the city's removal of a Confederate statue, resulted in the deaths of three people, including a young woman who was killed when an alleged white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of liberal activists.
Since then, elected officials in Lexington, Kentucky, and Gainesville, Florida, have announced plans to remove local Confederate statues. In Birmingham, Alabama, where state law prevents the removal of these monuments, city officials have veiled them from sight. And in Durham, North Carolina, protesters took it upon themselves Monday to topple a Confederate statue during a demonstration.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump forcefully defended Confederate monuments, as well as the groups that have mobilized, often violently to prevent their removal.
Trump's angry defense of white supremacists Tuesday sent members of his own party reeling
President Donald Trump was supposed to talk about infrastructure in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon. Instead, he vehemently defended white supremacists, sending shockwaves through the Republican Party and his own administration.
"Beyond being wrong, it is just another totally needless, self-inflicted wound," said a source close to the administration. The source added that new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was supposed to tighten up a flailing operation, "will be seen as having failed his first test. Fair or unfair."
Trump's initial Charlottesville comments on Saturday about "many sides" being responsible for the violence drove some congressional Republicans to explicitly and publicly break with the president during a serious domestic crisis. Now, with Trump forcefully digging in on those comments, his policy agenda and political relationships with his own party are wavering.
"I don't understand what's so hard about this," said Rep. Steve Stivers, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a statement after the president's press conference. "White supremacists and Neo-Nazis are evil and shouldn't be defended."
“I’m baffled,” said one GOP strategist on Tuesday afternoon. “Truly mind-boggling,” said a House Republican aide.
Read more here.
—Adrian Carrasquillo, Tarini Parti, and Alexis Levinson
Alt-right organizers vow to hold Boston rally despite speakers dropping out after Charlottesville
The future of an alt-right rally scheduled for Saturday in Boston is in limbo after several speakers dropped out, and the city’s mayor told the organizers, “We don’t want you here.” There is also a dispute over whether organizers have obtained the required permits, officials say.
On Monday, the group behind the event reassured followers on Facebook that the rally is still on, writing in a post: “The rally on Saturday IS NOT CANCELED. Not sure where this rumor came from.”
However, reports started to circulate that the Boston event wasn't going to happen as speakers announced that they were dropping out in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Read more here.
Trump claims he delayed condemning white supremacists because he waits for "the facts" before talking about an attack — but that's total BS
President Donald Trump, who has been roundly criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike for taking two days to explicitly condemn white supremacists and hate groups after the violence in Charlottesville, told reporters on Tuesday that he only delayed so that he could wait for "the facts."
"I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement," he said. "It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts. It is a very, very important process to me. It is a very important statement. So I don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement."
But Trump routinely comments on violent incidents soon after they occur — especially when he presumably assumes the attackers are Islamic extremists.
Read more here.
One of the featured speakers at the Charlottesville rally now says he's running for Senate
One of the speakers featured at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend announced on Tuesday that he’s running for the US Senate as a Republican.
Augustus Sol Invictus, a Florida man whose given name is reportedly Austin Gillespie, announced his second bid for the Senate on Tuesday in a livestream outside what appeared to be Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s Washington office. In his announcement, Invictus defended the rally that turned deadly on Saturday, blaming violence on the liberal counterprotesters.
“The left has been physically attacking patriot gatherings, free speech rallies, and protests of the destruction of our heritage in the south. They have waged a campaign of terror from coast to coast and all across Europe for well over two years now,” Invictus said, in a dramatic Southern drawl.
Invictus has run for Senate before, making an unsuccessful bid for the Libertarian Party nomination in the 2016 race for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's seat. Back then, he made national headlines for claiming to have once drunk goat's blood.
Read more here.
Democrats call for hearings on white nationalism and domestic terrorism in the wake of Charlottesville violence
House Democrats called for hearings in Congress to address white nationalism and domestic terrorism on Tuesday, saying: “Unfortunately, it has become clear we cannot count on President Trump for action.”
Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee have made the request to its Republican chairman, Mike McCaul, before, and renewed those calls in a letter on Tuesday following last weekend’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
“Even before [Trump] was elected, many of us were concerned that his unwillingness to denounce and distance himself from white nationalists would be taken as tacit support by those ready to use violence to advance their racist ideology,” Democrats wrote in the letter to McCaul, which was signed by all 12 Democratic members of the committee. “As leaders of the legislative branch of government, we must stand up to all ideologically-motivated violence.”
Trump was highly criticized by members of both parties for his reluctance to call out the hate groups associated with the rally in its immediate aftermath. Under pressure, Trump called out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists on Monday.
But on Tuesday afternoon, just as the letter was released, Trump held a highly criticized press conference, in which he stuck to his original stance that there was blame on “both sides,” and argued that the “alt-left” had “violently” attacked “the other group” over the weekend.
Read more here.
Two victims of the Charlottesville car attack are suing the driver and white supremacist leaders
Two women who say they were among 19 people injured in Charlottesville on Saturday are suing the man who rammed his car into a crowd and other white supremacists who were involved in organizing and participating in the demonstrations over the weekend.
Sisters Micah and Tadrint Washington were driving home when James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, also plowing into the back of their car, their attorney, Tim Litzenburg, told BuzzFeed News.
"The crash caused plaintiffs to slam into the dashboard and windshield leaving them with serious injuries to their head and extremities," the lawsuit reads. "Plaintiffs' vehicle was covered in blood and numerous victims of the attack were laying beside the vehicle as first responders were providing treatment and attempting to resuscitate Heather Heyer, a victim that was killed in the attack."
The Washingtons are suing Fields, Unite The Right organizer Jason Kessler, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, former KKK grand wizard David Duke, and 26 other individuals and organizations they say were involved in planning Saturday's racist rallies, arguing that the defendants caused physical and emotional injury to the sisters. The Washingtons are also bringing civil conspiracy charges against the defendants.
"We consider this an act of domestic terrorism," Litzenburg said. "What we look forward to is getting them and their leaders in a Charlottesville courtroom in front of a jury."
Read more here.
Trump angrily defends racists who sparked riots in Charlottesville, argues there are "two sides to a story"
In a heated, off-the-cuff press conference on Tuesday, President Donald Trump defended the racists who sparked the violent riots that led to a suspected terror attack and three deaths in Charlottesville last weekend, inaccurately blaming much of the violence on the "alt-left."
"Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch," Trump said. "What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?"
"There are two sides to a story," he went on, after explaining that "a lot of people" at the white supremacist march were there to "innocently protest."
Trump also defended the monuments of Confederate-era leaders that are being taken down across the country, both quietly and with fanfare.
"This week it's Robert E. Lee, and this week, Stonewall Jackson," Trump told reporters, echoing a line that's been circulating among right-wing commentators in recent days. "Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"
The president also stood up for himself, attributing his delay in condemning white supremacy after the events in Charlottesville to his desire to "get the facts" before quickly making a political statement.
His tirade shocked and infuriated lawmakers from both parties, many of whom urged the president to take a stronger stand against racism and bigotry.
Read more here.
"I couldn't allow myself not to go," says a friend of Heather Heyer, of counterprotesting at Charlottesville
Marcus Martin, 26, and his fiancé, Marissa Blair, 27, both counterprotested in Charlottesville over the weekend, standing up to the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups there for the Unite the Right rally. When a car plowed into the anti-racist demonstrators, Martin pushed Blair out of the way, injuring his leg in the process. Both spoke with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.
"How is your leg? How is your heart?" he asked.
"Heavy, heavy. It's just a lot of pain. It's a lot to cope with," Martin said. Both he and Blair wore purple and gold T-shirts commemorating Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who died in the car attack. Blair was a friend and coworker of Heyer's.
Martin said that initially he hadn't planned to attend the rally, but when he went on Facebook, he saw "videos of them just beating them with torches."
"I stand for my black community," he said. "Being able to see what was really going on, I couldn't allow myself not to go."
Martin said he remembered walking up the street, and the "car was just sitting there, and then out of nowhere — I'm looking down at my phone, — and then you hear the tires screech, and then I look up and bodies are just flying, and I just thought for one split second — I didn't think about myself, I thought about my fiancé. I had to protect her. That's what I'm here for, her protection, and I put it all on the line for her."
Blair said that since the event the two have gotten "nothing but love and support and kindness from people all over the world, people we don't even know."
Asked by Cuomo how they feel about President Trump's leadership since the events, Martin said, "No comment...because I don't have anything positive to say."
Blair said she doesn't see him as her president.
"He's not representing the citizens of America like he's a president. He hasn't earned it," she said. "He hasn't shown us anything. He said that being a president is harder than he thought it would be. You're protecting the country. You're protecting America. It's families, it's safety. You're supposed to unite us and make us a better country, and you haven't done it. You haven't even started. You haven't even began to think about why you even wanted to be president, other than a publicity stunt... 'President Trump' will never come out of my mouth, in terms of showing any type of respect to him."
The big question for investigators is whether the Charlottesville car attack was premeditated
When a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, killing one person and injuring 19, the refrain was almost immediate: This is what ISIS does.
The terror group, as well as its sympathizers, has deployed the tactic in Nice, Berlin, Paris, and London, and written about it in its English language magazine, Dabiq. Did that influence James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, who has been charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death?
Police have yet to determine Fields’ motivation or any planning. But the choice of car as a weapon in a part of the country where firearms are easily obtainable contrasts with the choices by ISIS or ISIS-inspired attackers in Germany, the UK, and France, where the government tightly restricts gun ownership.
ISIS frequently suggests the use of ordinary items by its supporters in attacks, but in the United States, the small number of jihadist-related attacks since 2001 have involved firearms or improvised explosive devices. Those have also been the preferred weapons of violent right-wing extremists over the last two decades, according to the FBI.
Read more here.
Uber permanently banned a white supremacist from its platform on Saturday, becoming one of just a handful of tech companies that have denied service to people affiliated with the violence in Charlottesville
Uber permanently banned white supremacist James Allsup from its ride-hail platform on Saturday after an Uber driver in Washington, DC, kicked him and alt-right leader Tim Gionet, better known as Baked Alaska, out of their ride for allegedly making racist remarks.
The decision makes Uber one of a handful of tech companies that denied service to groups or individuals associated with the violent white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Read more here.
Two more CEOs announced they are leaving Trump's manufacturing council
The CEO of Under Armour announced on Monday that he was resigning from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council, making him the second business leader to abandon the group amid fallout over Trump's response to racial violence in Virginia.
In a statement, Kevin Plank said that he joined the council because he thought it was important to "have an active seat at the table." However, he has determined that Under Armour "engages in innovation and sports, not politics."
Plank added that he will now focus his efforts on "inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion."
The statement did not explicitly reference Saturday's unrest, in which one person died at a white supremacist rally in Virginia, but it did come the same day that Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier also left the American Manufacturing Council. Frazier said he was leaving because American leaders need to reject "hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy."
"As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism," Frazier added.
Trump was criticized for not coming out sooner and more forcefully against the white supremacists.
Shortly after Plank's announcement on Monday night, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that he would also be stepping down from the manufacturing council.
"I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence," Krzanich said in a statement. "I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does."
—Jim Dalrymple II and Grace Wyler
Mother of car attack victim says to suspect, "This wasn't a video game ... this was real people"
Susan Bro, the mother of the victim of Saturday's car attack in Charlottesville, spoke out on Monday, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper that her daughter, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, wanted to "stop what she believed to be unfair."
"Heather was a very passionate woman," Bro told Cooper. "She was very fair-minded. She was driven to make people clarify their situation, to make people accountable for their behavior, to make people look at themselves and stop what she believed to be unfair."
Bro described her daughter as having "a real radar" for injustice, saying the young woman wouldn't just stand for things because it was "the way we've always done it."
"She would call you out on it," Bro said. "She didn't tolerate that."
She went on to say she had been "humbled" and "amazed" by a flood of stories she has received from people "that Heather defended and took care of and protected throughout her childhood that I never even knew happened."
Through tears, Bro described finding out about her daughter's death as "the worst day of my life."
"I think we need to call out hate where we see hate. I think we need to call out criminal activity where we see criminal activity," she said.
About her daughter's suspected killer, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., Bro said she hoped he would one day come to see that he was wrong.
"I'm sorry for the pain he will go through. I'm sorry for the pain he's putting his mother through right now," she said. "I'm also extremely sorry that he chose to kill my child and to injure a bunch of other people. He didn't have the right to do that."
"This wasn't a video game, buddy, this was real people, okay?" she added, directly addressing the suspect. "There are real consequences to what you did. And I'm sorry you chose to do that. You have ruined your life, and you've disturbed mine, but you took my child from me."
"I'm going to be the voice that she can no longer be," she said.
Asked how she would like Heather to be remembered, Bro said, "If anything is ever to come of this 'Say her name,' I want it to mean you hold yourself accountable. You check your actions before you do something."
"And there's no excuse for hatred," she concluded. "There's no excuse for bigotry. There's no excuse for discrimination."
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Anti-racist protesters in North Carolina pulled down a Confederate monument
Protesters gathered in front of the courthouse in Durham, North Carolina, pulled down a Confederate statue on Monday.
A woman was filmed climbing up a ladder to the statue and tying a rope around it, before it was pulled down by the crowd and crushed by its own weight.
Protesters then started spitting on and kicking the fallen monument.
The statue was erected in 1924 and represents a soldier who fought in the Civil War.
"The Confederate States of America," a plaque on the front of the statue read, according to WNCN.
Protesters in North Carolina said they were there in reaction to what happened in Charlottesville.
Durham County spokesperson Dawn Dudley told WNCN that North Carolina's law makes it difficult to remove or alter state monuments.
"Due to a North Carolina state law passed a few years ago, Durham County is prohibited from removing or making substantive alteration to historical monuments and memorials," Dudley said to WNCN.
It was suggested that a new law would need to be passed to remove monuments. There are about 120 Civil War memorials across the state, the Herald Sun reported. BuzzFeed News reached out to Dudley to find out what would happen now.
A person who damages property can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor under state law, and, if convicted, can receive a fine of $500 and 24 hours of community service.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Following violent clashes at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, white nationalist Richard Spencer tried to hold a private press conference in Washington on Monday. But two different hotels in DC canceled on him before the events were scheduled to start.
In the end, Spencer, a leader of the alt-right movement, had to hold the press conference in an apartment he calls an office and part-time residence across the river in Alexandria, Virginia.
Spencer, who was in Charlottesville and participated in the rally, has denied that he was one of the organizers of the events there this weekend. He was, however, prominently displayed on flyers advertising the rally.
Read more here.
Republicans show they’re willing to loudly break with Trump after Charlottesville
For months, most Republicans in Washington have tried to artfully dodge criticizing President Trump. In Congress, they have literally run away from reporters, jumped into elevators, and pivoted to bashing the media to avoid answering for the president.
But after the president went all weekend without outright condemning white supremacists for the violence in Charlottesville and three related deaths, Republicans started aggressively breaking away from the leader of their party ahead of a crucial month for the administration.
Using Trump's preferred means of communication, several top Republicans called out the president's weak response on Twitter. The intense, bipartisan pressure was eventually followed by a second Trump statement on Monday, this time specifically calling out "the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists," going beyond his vague comment on Saturday which blamed the weekend’s violence on "many sides."
The president’s initial response left most Republicans with no choice but to break from the president over the weekend, said Rick Tyler, former spokesperson for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who was one of the Republicans to criticize the president's response.
"It's a defining moment for the Republican Party when you have neo-Nazis, white supremacists and racists assembling in an American city that ends up in three tragic deaths, and Trump provided no moral clarity,” Tyler said. “It's incumbent on the president to provide moral clarity when it comes to these types of events.
"To put it in context, he has Jewish grandchildren, his daughter converted to Judaism. These are Nazis. What is unclear?"
Read more here.
Trump criticizes media coverage of his response to Charlottesville
President Trump waited days to denounce white supremacists who gathered over the weekend in Charlottesville — but he was quick to call members of the media "bad people" for their coverage of him.
Trump initially denounced violence on "many sides" after white supremacists clashed with anti-fascist and anti-racist protesters. It wasn't until Monday that he denounced the beliefs of white supremacists, many of whom supported his campaign.
Media coverage noted the delay; Trump has been quick to denounce acts of violence by radical Islamic terrorists.
"Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied...truly bad people!" Trump tweeted later on Monday.
Charlottesville police chief says he regrets loss of life, defends police response
Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas on Monday acknowledged that officers were spread thin during the response to a white supremacist rally and counterprotests, but denied that his force hung back in making arrests.
Since Friday, police have faced questions about their restraint in dealing with the white supremacists and counterprotesters who became violent. Video captured physical clashes between the various groups who turned out over the weekend.
The situation escalated when a man drove his car into a group of peaceful anti-racist protesters and a 32-year-old woman was killed.
Only a handful of arrests were made at the scene, but Thomas said police are taking reports from potential victims.
"Absolutely I have regrets," Thomas said on Monday. "We lost three lives this weekend."
Two Virginia State Police officers also died when their helicopter crashed. They had been providing aerial video of the crowds on the ground, then diverted to support the governor's motorcade as he traveled into Charlottesville.
"We regret this tragic day. We regret we had this tragic outcome and lost lives," Thomas said.
But the chief denied that officers were told not to make arrests or that they allowed assaults to take place. He said a plan had been in place for attendees of the alt-right rally to enter Emancipation Park from a single back entrance. They did not follow the plan, he said, and physical altercations began as they mixed in with Antifa groups and counterprotesters.
An unlawful assembly was declared and police focused on helping people get out of the area safely, Thomas said.
"We were following a number of groups, ensuring they were being peaceful, but it was a challenge, it was certainly a challenge," he said. "We were spread thin once the groups dispersed."
The intersection where the car plowed into pedestrians was supposed to be closed to vehicles, Thomas added.
When asked who was to blame for the violence, Thomas said people on various sides were "mutually combative."
But, he added, "This was an alt-right rally."
Mother of man who allegedly drove into a crowd in Charlottesville reportedly told police he beat her
The mother of the man who allegedly killed one person when he rammed a car into a crowd of Charlottesville demonstrators reportedly told police dispatchers he had beaten her.
Samantha Bloom called the Florence Police Department in Kentucky in 2010 and 2011 to report her son, James Alex Fields Jr., according to transcripts obtained by the Associated Press. In the 2010 call, Bloom told police dispatchers that Fields hit her in the head and locked her in a bathroom after she told him to stop playing video games.
During the 2011 call, Bloom, who uses a wheelchair, also said her son stood behind her while wielding a 12-inch knife, the AP reported.
Bloom also reportedly told police at one point that Fields used medication to control his temper.
It was not immediately clear on Monday what came of the 911 calls.
—Jim Dalrymple II
The driver of the car that plowed into protesters has been denied bail
A judge has denied bail to James Alex Fields Jr., the suspect held in connection with the death of Heather Heyer, according to reports on Monday.
Fields, who appeared via a video link in a black-and-white jumpsuit, reportedly said he could not afford a lawyer and has no ties to the Charlottesville area. The court appointed him a lawyer after he said he received a salary of $650 a week. A bond hearing is scheduled for mid-August, according to reporters inside the court room.
Charles "Buddy" Weber, the lawyer assigned to represent Fields, is also one of a group of plaintiffs suing the City of Charlottesville to stop the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Daily Progress.
Weber also represented Jason Kessler, the blogger who organized the white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville this weekend, in an unrelated case earlier this year. Kessler was arrested in January and charged with assaulting another man while Kessler was collecting signatures for a petition to remove a local Charlottesville official. Kessler pleaded guilty in April.
Outside the courthouse, protesters and counterprotesters shouted at one another, assigning blame for the violence.
Matthew Heimbach, who has a history of association with hate groups, claimed the white nationalists were defending themselves, and that the bloodshed was also on the hands of the city government and police for standing down.
"You were not defending yourselves," a counterprotester shouted back. Eyewitnesses support this account.
Heimbach first gained notoriety for attempting to start a "White Student Union" at Towson University in Maryland, his home state. He invited white nationalist speakers to campus, and the White Student Union started conducting so-called safety patrols on campus to stop alleged black-on-white-female crime.
After college, Heimbach attracted attention for showing up at the Conservative Political Action Conference and advocating for segregation, and assumed a leadership role in the Traditionalist Youth Network, a group promoting white separatism. Since then, he's spoken at several neo-Nazi and KKK-organized events, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He now lives in Paoli, Indiana.
Heimbach reemerged in mainstream press last year when he was caught on film shoving a black protester at a Trump rally. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last month in the case, but avoided jail time so long as he stays out of trouble for two years. The woman he shoved, a black college student named Kashiya Nwanguma, filed a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump and Heimbach over the incident. Heimbach responded in court by arguing that Trump had instructed his supporters to "knock the crap out of" protesters, and that he was following Trump's "directives and requests."
"Do you have any accountability for this death at all?" a reporter asked on Monday, to which he answered, "Not at all."
—Cora Lewis, Tyler Kingkade, and Zoe Tillman
Merck CEO resigns from Trump council because Trump did not expressly condemn white supremacists. Then, Trump expressly condemns Merck CEO.
Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck, said on Monday he is resigning from the president’s American Manufacturing Council.
“Our country’s strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political beliefs,” he wrote in a statement. “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”
“As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."
Minutes later, Trump responded on Twitter, stating Frazier will have more time to "LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"
Hours later, Trump again tweeted about Frazier.
Frazier is not the first CEO to leave a business council formed by the Trump administration.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stepped down from both the manufacturing council and a separate business advisory group after Trump said he would leave the Paris climate accord, and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit the business advisory council in February after pressure from customers and advocates responding to the president's immigration policy.
Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger similarly left the business advisory council, citing “a matter of principle” over the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
Angela Merkel just said violence by far-right groups in Virginia was "absolutely repulsive"
Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, has issued a strong condemnation of white supremacist groups for their role in a violent rally at which three people died, calling their actions "evil."
In comments released via her spokesperson on Monday, Merkel expressed shock at the "naked racism" seen during clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend.
"The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive – naked racism, anti-Semitism and hate in their most evil form were on display," Steffen Seibert told reporters, Agence France-Presse reported.
"Such images and chants are disgusting wherever they may be and they are diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government."
Read the full story here.
Charlottesville mayor says city tried to move rally to a larger location that would have been easier to police, but judge struck down the move late Friday
Mayor Michael Signer said that the city of Charlottesville was ready with extra police for Saturday's rally, and even tried to change the rally's location once they realized the turnout was going to be much larger than originally anticipated.
"Because the numbers were looking like they were going to get so large and predictably so violent, so armed, our city manager made a decision last Monday to move the rally to a much larger location where the level of policing could be easier to maintain," Singer said on CNN's New Day.
That decision, he said, was struck down late on Friday by a federal judge.
"All those hundreds of law enforcement could have had an easier time dealing with people who clearly we know now came here for violence, came here for incitement," he said.
CNN's Chris Cuomo also asked Signer what he thought about President Trump not specifically calling out Nazis and white supremacists.
"He had his opportunity and he whiffed, and I think that speaks for itself," Signer said.
The mayor also said that the city is still grieving but is getting back to work, and touted the city's diversity and tolerance.
"If they figured they had a city to intimidate away from progress, to intimidate away from hard work on telling the truth about race in our history as a Southern city, they picked the wrong city," Signer said.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions defends Trump's statement on Charlottesville, saying he condemned white nationalists and hate groups by name. (He has not.)
Asked whether President Trump would personally and "explicitly condemn white nationalists and hate groups" on Monday in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on the Today show, "The president has condemned them by name and will continue to do so."
But so far only an unnamed White House spokesperson has specifically denounced the white supremacist groups which rallied over the weekend in demonstrations that led to the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer.
Pressed on the difference, Sessions said of the statement, "It came from the White House, it sure did, it was authorized ... It was a White House spokesman who made that statement, explicitly condemning these groups by name. I'm sure he'll talk again about it soon."
Sessions characterized the events in Charlottesville as "spasms of violence ... that have been going on a long time."
"We need to find out what happened, that it's wrong, and we need to study it and see what as a nation we can do to be more effective against this kind of extremism and evil, really," he said. "I thought it was a good statement, delivered just a few hours after the event."
When Sessions was told that the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi publication that was kicked off its hosting platform on Sunday, had celebrated the president's statement, which did not explicitly condemn the hate groups he named, he said, "They're simply attempting to legitimate (sic) themselves in any way possible ... I'm confident that the American people will reject this kind of evil ideology. And we need to take it seriously. It does appear that people are... amazingly, Nazism remains alive, after all of the evil it has caused in the world."
Sessions called the president's statement "strong," saying it "directly contradicted the ideology of hatred, violence, bigotry, racism, and white supremacy."
"Those things must be condemned in this country. They're totally unacceptable," he said, adding that "you can be sure this Department of Justice in his administration is going to take the most vigorous action to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer, to protest against racism and bigotry."
"We're going to protect the right to assemble and march. And we're going to prosecute anybody, to the full extent of the law, that violates their ability to do so," he said.
Sessions said that "this ideology that causes division and hatred in America... is just not part of our heritage."
Asked whether President Trump had apologized for publicly scolding the attorney general on Twitter in recent weeks, he said he believed in the president's agenda and leadership. "He has a right to scold his cabinet members if he's not happy with them, and he has a right to have people in his cabinet that he believes will serve his agenda," he said. "He's not apologized. He is frank about his concerns and expressed them openly."
McAuliffe to Trump: "We have got to work together" to stop hatred and bigotry
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe spoke with President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon following the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, and urged the White House to help state officials "bring people together" in the wake of the incidents, according to the Virginia Democrat's account of the conversation.
"He called and obviously he had what was going on, the issues, and I told him 'Mr. President' — at the beginning of the call and the end of the call — 'there's too much hatred and bigotry; there's too much horrible rhetoric coming out. We have got to work together,'" McAuliffe said, revealing details of the call in a new interview with activist DeRay Mckesson. "And I said at the end, 'Mr. President, I'll work with you. Let us work together to reconcile [and] bring people together."
The Virginia governor made the comments in an appearance on Mckesson's podcast, Pod Save the People, which has attracted numerous politicians, activists, and entertainers to speak on issues of race and justice. The interview, a preview of which was provided to BuzzFeed News, features McAuliffe speaking emotionally about the three lives lost in Charlottesville on Saturday, including two state troopers whom McAuliffe knew personally.
Read the full story here.
GoDaddy has kicked white supremacist website the Daily Stormer off its platform
GoDaddy, the world’s largest seller of domain names on the internet, said on Sunday that it would no longer provide service to the Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi and white supremacist website.
The company has been criticized for providing services to white supremacist websites despite its terms of service banning “morally offensive activity.”
The action was taken after the Daily Stormer posted an offensive article about Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant who was killed by a car that 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. drove into a group of protestors at the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday.
A GoDaddy spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the company would cancel the Daily Stormer’s service if the website didn’t move to another domain provider within 24 hours.
Read the full story here.
—Pranav Dixit and J. Lester Feder
Here’s what really happened in Charlottesville
Yes, you can blame the Nazis.
The race-fueled chaos that wracked Charlottesville finally came to rest on Sunday night. And the hundreds of people who spent the weekend fighting in the streets — and the millions who watched them — began what has become a new American ritual: arguing about what really happened, and what a spasm of localized political violence means.
Was this an assault by racist extremists on innocent, rightly outraged Americans? Was it a clash between “many sides,” as President Trump notoriously said? Was the scale of the right-wing threat blown out of proportion? Was the violence of the black-hooded “antifa” understated?
The answers are clearer on the ground than they are in the filter bubbles driven by fierce partisan argument on social media and cable news. They are complicated but not ambiguous.
Read the full story here.
Thousands of people in more than half a dozen cities rallied on Sunday in response to a white supremacist gathering a day earlier in Charlottesville that left one person dead and dozens more injured.
In New York City, hundreds of people marched through Union and Times squares, denouncing Nazis and racism. In Washington, DC, a crowd gathered outside the White House. Participants were seen with signs condemning President Trump and expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, including a march in Los Angeles, a vigil in Phoenix, and a rally in Oakland, California.
Tensions rose in Seattle, however, with competing groups of protesters attempting to shout each other down. Seattle police deployed non-lethal weapons to disperse crowds, and ultimately arrested three people.
In Atlanta, a march also culminated with protesters vandalizing a statue of a Confederate soldier with spray paint.
Read more about Sunday's protests here.
—Jim Dalrymple II
A witness described the moment a car hit a crowd of anti-racists in Charlottesville: "There's blood splattered on the street. People with heads cracked open and with legs bent in directions they're not supposed to be bent."
A witness described the moment a car hit a crowd during a counter-demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday as "like fucking bowling pins, with bodies flying."
Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old Charlottesville resident was killed in the collision, and 19 others were injured. A 20-year-old man, James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the incident.
Eli Kaye-Karan, 18, a Washington, DC, resident who was in Charlottesville for the counter-protest march, told BuzzFeed News about a gruesome, chaotic scene.
"I was in that march — I was toward the front of it," Kaye-Karan told BuzzFeed News.
"I see this car turn the corner and start coming down the street," he said, of the moment before the car attack. "All of a sudden — I couldn't believe it — I heard wheels spin and the car floors it."
"I jump out of the way," he continued. "I yelled 'car, get out of the way!'"
Kaye-Karan said that many people were able to jump out of the way, but others who were further down the street were trapped because "there were too many of them to get out of the way in time."
"I swear to god, it was like fucking bowling pins, with bodies flying," he said.
The car then rear-ended the vehicle in front of it, Kaye-Karan said. He and other witnesses ran towards the car to attempt to pull the suspect out, but when they reached the car he "tried the handle once and it was locked," he said.
"All of a sudden he throws it in reverse and speeds back down the street," he said. "And I'm just standing there in the wreckage and there's shoes and pieces of car everywhere. There's blood splattered on the street. People with heads cracked open and with legs bent in directions they're not supposed to be bent. It all happened in the span of three seconds."
Read more here.
— Kovie Biakolo and Michelle Broder Van Dyke
An Army spokesperson says James Alex Fields, Jr. was released from active military duty due to a "failure to meet training standards"
James Alex Fields Jr., the suspect held in connection with the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, reported for basic military training in August of 2015, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson confirmed Sunday.
"He was, however, released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015," Johnson said in a statement. "As a result he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training."
Johnson declined to provide further details about Field's release.
Fields has been charged with second-degree murder, after allegedly driving his car into a crowd of liberal protesters following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Saturday. You can read more about what we know about him so far here.
-- Cora Lewis
Vice President Mike Pence denounces "white supremacists, neo-Nazis...the KKK" and "dangerous fringe groups"
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Colombia Sunday, US Vice President Mike Pence addressed the events in Charlottesville, saying that "we have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists, neo Nazis or the KKK."
"These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms," Pence said.
The comments come amid mounting criticism of President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville. With his remarks, Pence became the highest-ranking Trump administration official to label the groups behind the violent rally in Charlottesville Saturday.
Pence defended the president's response to the violence, saying that Trump's "call for unity" came "from the heart."
"It was a sincere call, in these two divided times in our country, for those on the extremes to be dismissed and for the vast majority of Americans who cherish freedom, who cherish justice for all, to come together, in new and in renewed ways," Pence said.
The vice president also took issue with the coverage of Trump's statements, claiming that "the national media spent more time criticizing the president’s words than they did criticizing those that perpetrated the violence to begin with."
"We should be putting the attention where it belongs," Pence said, "and that is on those extremist groups that need to be pushed out of the public debate entirely and discredited for the hate groups and dangerous fringe groups that they are."
His statement came during a joint president with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, whose son, Pence said, just graduated from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.
— Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Tiki Brand, which makes torches that have been used by white supremacists in Charlottesville, says it's "saddened and disappointed"
Tiki Brand Products, which is best known for making bamboo torches for backyard parties and luaus, released a statement distancing itself from the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville that have utilized their products.
The brand said it was "deeply saddened and disappointed" by "the events that took place in Charlottesville" and were "not associated."
"We do not support their message or the use of our products in this way," the company said. "Our products are designed to enhance backyard gatherings and to help family and friends connect with each other at home in their yard."
In May, images of white supremacists wielding torches at a Charlottesville rally went viral, after they drew strong reactions from people online.
On Friday in Charlottesville, the torches were used again by white supremacists preparing for the Unite the Right rally, who wielded them as they marched through the University Of Virginia campus.
White supremacists surrounded counter protests at the Jefferson Statue on campus, and fighting broke out between the protesters. Police reportedly separated the two groups, having declared unlawful assembly.
— Michelle Broder Van Dyke
If Charlottesville changed the confederate monument debate, these Republicans aren’t saying
To many offended by Confederate nostalgia, the images of swastikas and burning tiki torches this weekend in Charlottesville confirmed what they have long believed: That racism, and not respect for history or a desire to lash out against liberals and politically correct culture, is fueling this debate.
It's a debate with political ramifications, especially for Republicans. Some — notably Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado — have unequivocally denounced the Charlottesville unrest as racism and bigotry.
“We are the Party of Lincoln and a party that stands against divisive and hurtful symbols,” McDaniel said Sunday in statement to BuzzFeed News. “As Americans we can find ways to preserve our history but only if we are working toward an inclusive future that separates us from a hateful past.”
But President Donald Trump, whose campaign offered racialized rhetoric and never consistently disavowed his support among white nationalists, issued a response Saturday that did not call out white supremacists — and instead criticized the violence on “many sides,” while ignoring reporters’ shouted questions about white nationalists. His vague remarks underscore how uncomfortable a topic this is for others in the GOP, particularly those in the Old South, where politicians often are expected to pick a side.
How uncomfortable? BuzzFeed News contacted more than 15 Republican candidates, operatives, and officeholders in Southern states with the same basic question: Does seeing these symbols embraced in the name of racism and in a violent manner change how you feel about pro-Confederate politics? Only two replied. None answered the question as posed.
Read more here.
— Henry Gomez
Jason Kessler, organizer of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, abandoned his own press conference this afternoon after protests
The organizer of Saturday's Unite The Right rally, which brought together neo-nazis and other white superemacists in Charlottesville, left his own press conference this afternoon after being booed by anti-racist protesters.
Three people died and at least 19 were injured as a result of the white supremacist demonstrations.
Kessler was met with protesters as he tried to address a crowd outside Charlottesville City Hall on Sunday afternoon.
Protesters shouted, "Shame on you!" and "Nazis go home!" as Kessler tried to address the crowd.
Virginia state police arrested at least one protester at the scene.
After leaving the scene Kessler tweeted, "once again violence rules over speech and ideas in #Charlottesville."
— Nidhi Prakash and Blake Montgomery
Anti-racists are naming and shaming the Charlottesville marchers online
The pseudonymous account @YesYoureRacist is crowdsourcing the names of people who attended a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — and trying to get them fired from their jobs.
“I’ve been using this account to call out racists on Twitter in real life for nearly five years, so when all of these photos started popping up from the torch rally Friday night and the alt-right march on Saturday, I figured it was only natural that I would continue to call them out,” the man who runs the account, who declined to share his name, told BuzzFeed News.
Read more here.
— Kevin Collier
Officials identify Heather Heyer, 32, as the victim of the car attack
The crash, which involved multiple vehicles, killed Heyer, who was on foot. She was transported to UVA Hospital, where she was declared dead, Charlottesville City officials said in a statement on Sunday.
Charlottesville City officials released another statement Sunday afternoon expressing condolences to the families of all three victims, writing that Heyer "was struck down by a vehicle while exercising her peaceful first-amendment right to free speech."
"We met when we were little and living in the same subdivision. She was always nice," Felicia Correa, a childhood friend of Heyer's, told BuzzFeed News. "More recently she helped me with my bankruptcy which was due to being uninsured last year. Due to me having MS and was hospitalized, I was faced with having to pay tens of thousands of dollars. She worked at the law firm that I used, Miller Law Group. She never saw race. I am sure you will hear that from everyone." Correa has organized a GoFundMe page for Heyer's family; it has already raised more than $100,000.
— Nidhi Prakash and Michelle Broder van Dyke
People are organizing vigils and protests around the country in solidarity with Charlottesville
People in cities across the country are planning candleight vigils, protests, and other actions in honor of the three people who died in connection to the Charlottesville rally, and in protest of racism and white supremacism.
At least a hundred people gathered Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza to "rally for Peace and Sanity."
"In light of current abhorrent events in Charlottesville, this rally is also aiming for peace and sanity on our own soil as well," reads the Facebook event page for the rally, which was initially organized against nuclear war with North Korea, but shifted focus after Saturday's events. "Please come and show your support or the brave patriots showing up in the face of white supremacy and terrorism in Virginia."
The progressive organization Indivisible has a list of similar actions planned throughout the country.
—Ellen Cushing and Remy Smidt
White House acknowledges “white supremacists” in statement from unnamed spokesperson
The White House has issued a brief follow-up statement on Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, responding to reporters’ questions about President Trump’s widely criticized initial statement, which did not specifically call out white supremacists and instead attributed violence to “many sides.”
"The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred,” an unnamed spokesperson said in a statement issued Sunday morning to the White House press pool. “Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."
Trump did not explicitly mention white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or the KKK in his remarks Saturday, or in follow-up tweets.
The White House said Trump “will continue to receive regular updates from his team” about what occurred in Charlottesville.
— Matt Berman
Anthony Scaramucci says Trump should have been "much harsher" in his condemnation of the violence in Charlottesville
Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House Communications director, said that President Trump needed to be "much harsher" in his condemnation of the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday by white supremacists.
In his first interview after his 11-day stint on the job, Scaramucci said he wouldn't have "recommended" the brief statement by Trump about the violence.
"With the moral authority of the presidency, you have to call that stuff out," Scaramucci told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."
President Trump appeared to avoid condemning the white nationalists and neo-Nazis that organized the rally, and instead only mentioned violence on "many sides."
Scaramucci also referred to White House Advisor and former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon as the potential reason for Trump's weak condemnation. "You also sort of got this Bannon-bart influence in there which I think is a snag on the president," he said, referring to Steven Bannon and the heavily right-learning website.
He called Bannon's influence "nonsensical" and later said, "I think the president knows what he's going to do with Steve Bannon."
Scaramucci didn't elaborate, but said the President has a very good idea of the "leakers" are in the White House and of those people around him who are "undermining his agenda that are serving their own interests."
— Talal Ansari
Trump's Homeland Security Adviser says he condemns white supremacism — after rounds of persistent questioning
President Trump's national security advisor Tim Bossert continued to blame groups "on both sides looking for trouble" for the violence in Charlottesville that resulted in the deaths of three people.
For several rounds of questions, Bossert referred to "these groups" and "groups that clashed yesterday" without calling out neo-nazis or white supremacists who incited the violence specifically.
He was quicker to frame the violence around "the individual that committed murder yesterday", referring to the man who drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters and killed one.
Bossert: "Hold on one moment, Jake. I don't for one minute, I don't for one moment and I won't allow you for one second to put me in a position of being an apologist for someone who is now a charged murderer. This individual should face swift justice. The president of the United States shares that view. I know he does. I share that view deeply. And I don't want to be put in a position. I won't allow you to put me or him in a position of not finding that justice as swiftly as possible."
Tapper: "You just decried both sides. You just decried both sides. Here we have a situation, Mr. Bossert, where neo-nazis, the Klan, alt-right and others went to Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting other anti-semitic, anti-African American and other racist slogans provoking the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, making them feel intimidated. Yes, violence did break out. One person was killed by one of these alt-right, Klan, nazi protesters and you just decried both sides of this and this is the issue."
Bossert: "No. No, I didn't. You're making this issue a little distorted. What I would decry is the individual that committed murder yesterday. What I would do, though, is quibble with this notion that any of this is acceptable. These groups showed up spewing hate. These groups showed up looking for violence."
Tapper: "What groups?"
Bosser: "I think it's just important for people to understand."
Tapper: "What groups are you referring to?"
Bossert: "Well, I refer to the groups that clashed yesterday. I think it was pretty graphically evident."
Tapper: "Are you talking about the neo-nazis or the counterprotesters?"
At which point Bossert did not answer the question but instead started talking about the difficulties of planning for the protests, but went on to reiterate again that he blamed the individual who rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters and not a group:
"I don't assign blame or assuage blame or try to press blame to other groups, Jake. The point I'm trying to make is that what we saw yesterday was an unacceptable planned demonstration of violence. What I would say is with respect to murder and I'm a little bit indignant of the way you phrased that. Apologies if I took it the wrong way," he said, "But I place the blame most squarely and most directly on the murderer, alleged murderer, the driver of the vehicle. It's no question in my mind the driver of that vehicle acted with intent. That is the driver of that vehicle. He is rightly accused of being a murderer," he said.
After Tapper pushed him several times, citing criticism from top Republicans that the administration has not condemned white supremacist and neo-nazi groups responsible for the violence on Saturday, Bossert finally condemned white supremacists and neo-nazis broadly.
"I condemn white supremacists and racists and white Nazi groups," he said in the following exchange:
Tapper: "I guess the point is, a point being made by Republican officials like Corey Gardner and others when you condemn groups as opposed to specifically white supremacists, Nazis, members, it creates this vagueness that as I read to you in that neo-nazi website quote, allows neo-nazis to think, 'He's not condemning us. He's condemning anybody that was violent.' That's the problem. And you, on the show today, have said that you condemn groups and condemn actions and condemn bigotry but I haven't heard you say, 'I condemn white supremacists, I condemn neo-nazis, I condemn the alt-right.' I haven't heard that and I think a lot of people were upset, a lot of Republican officials, that they didn't hear it from President Trump. But I don't want to belabor this point—"
Bossert: "I think you've belabored it so let me say that I condemn white supremacist and racists and white nazi groups, and all the other groups that espouse this kind of violence. I can't be clearer."
No-one in the administration has called the death of one woman by a man driving his car into a crowd during the demonstrations yesterday a terrorist act.
- Nidhi Prakash
Charlottesville mayor says he blames Trump's rhetoric for Saturday's violence
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said on CNN on Sunday morning that President Trump bears blame for the deaths that happened at yesterday’s white supremacy rally.
“Look at the campaign he ran. I mean, look at the intentional courting both on the one hand of all these white supremacists, white nationalist group like that, antisemetic and then look on the other hand the repeated failure to condemn, denounce, silence, you know, put to bed all those different efforts just like we saw yesterday,” Singer said. “This is not hard. There's, you know, there's two words that need to be said over and over again that’s domestic terrorism and white supremacy.”
Trump, he said, “is on the sidelines and things of so many issues. But the country is going to move ahead.”
The three people that died Saturday “didn’t need to die,” Singer said.
When Trump vaguely said there was violence “on both sides” on Saturday, Singer said he “hung his head in shame.”
Singer also addressed the suspect in the car attack, James Alex Fields, Jr, specifically about a photo that surfaced showing him holding a shield with a white supremacist symbol.
Singer said he wants his case to be tried on domestic terrorism charges.
“I would say if those facts bear out it would be more evidence of what was already unbelievably disturbing here, which is people who felt as if they had free reign to come into a free city and terrorize our most vulnerable people.
“This didn't just go through that open, you know, physical violence yesterday. It began the night before with several hundred of these people who came to our town doing a torch parade yelling slogans, you know, against African-Americans against Jews up and down the campus of Thomas Jefferson. At the university of Virginia. This was an unusual display of intimidation harking back to the KKK,” Singer said.
“It sounds like this gentleman don't want to jump to conclusions before law enforcement authorities do, but I hope if the facts are there we vigorously prosecute this as a case of domestic terrorism,” Singer said.
Trump's national security advisor says car attack in Charlottesville was terrorism
Speaking on ABC's This Week on Sunday morning, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told host George Stephanopoulos the attack in Charlottesville, that left a woman dead and 19 others injured, was an act of terrorism.
"Any time that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism," McMaster said.
McMaster was then interviewed on NBC's Meet The Press where he reiterated his statement: "Of course it was terrorism."
When questioned about President Trump's response to the events, he added: "I'm sure you will hear from the president more about this."
McMaster was also pressed on Meet The Press on whether or not he believes he can work with White House adviser Steve Bannon, who former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci specifically faulted for Trump’s loose response to Saturday’s violence during a separate Sunday TV appearance. The website Bannon ran before joining the White House, Breitbart News, has for days been targeting McMaster as someone who is preventing Trump from fulfilling his promised agenda.
Asked multiple times whether he could work with Bannon, McMaster said he is “ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president’s agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people.” He would not explicitly say if that includes Bannon.
Trump's daughter Ivanka condemns white supremacy action in Charlottesville
While many have criticized President Donald Trump for his ambigious statements on the violence that unfolded in Charlottesville over the weekend, his daughter Ivanka was more explicit.
On Sunday morning, she tweeted that "there should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis."
Her comments make her the most senior administration advisor to explicitly condemn the white supremacy protesters in Charlottesville.
The FBI is opening a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash in Charlottesville
The FBI's Richmond Division announced Saturday night that it would open a civil rights investigation into the deadly car crash in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday.
In a statement Saturday night, the agency said that it work with the FBI's Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia to look into the "circumstances of the deadly vehicular incident."
"The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence," the statement said, adding that the agency would not comment further on the investigation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement, saying he had spoken with FBI Director Chris Wray and with agents on the scene, and that the Department of Justice would fully support the federal investigation into the incident.
"The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice," Sessions said. "When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."
"Justice will prevail," he concluded.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Virginia State Police arrest three people in connection with the protests in Charlottesville
Three people have been arrested in connection with the protests, and ensuing violence, in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, state police announced.
In a statement, Virginia State Police identified the three individuals arrested as Troy Dunigan, 21, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, charged with disorderly conduct; Jacob L. Smith, 21, of Louisa, Virginia, charged with misdemeanor assault & battery; and James M. O’Brien, 44, of Gainesville, Florida, who was charged with carrying a concealed handgun.
Authorities also arrested 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr, of Ohio, in connection with the fatal car collision that left one person dead in downtown Charlottesville, Saturday. Fields has been charged with second-degree murder, among other charges.
The two victims of a helicopter crash in Charlottesville, Virginia, have been identified
At least three people died on Saturday as violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two state police officers died as they were trying to help with public safety when their helicopter crashed into a wooded area. A third person, who has not yet been identified, died when a car drove into a crowd on anti-racist protesters.
Lieutenant H Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, was one of the victims who died in the helicopter crash, officials said. He was a 1994 graduate of the Virginia State Police Academy, and first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999, according to a statement issued by Virginia State Police. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
The other victim was identified as Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Virginia. Bates would've turned 41 on Sunday, the state police said in its statement. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004, and transferred to the Aviation Unit as a trooper-pilot in July. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Read more here.
— Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Republican Senator Ted Cruz calls for a Department of Justice investigation into "grotesque act of domestic terrorism"
“The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil,” Cruz said in a statement, “and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred that they propagate.”
The Texas Senator's statement, released Saturday night, comes amid growing calls for President Donald Trump to explicitly condemn white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Having watched the video of the car “deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters”, Cruz said, “I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism.”
One person was killed in the incident, and more than a dozen other people were injured. A man has been detained and has been charged in connection to the incident, the Charlottesville Police Department confirmed Saturday.
"It's tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great nation with bloodshed," Cruz wrote, expressing his condolences for those killed or hurt in the violence.
Driver in fatal protest crash charged with second-degree murder
A 20-year-old Ohio man was charged Saturday night in connection with crashing into a crowd of protesters.
James Alex Fields Jr. was booked into Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run. A 32-year-old woman was killed and at least 19 others were injured in the crash, which involved multiple vehicles.
Fields fled the scene, police said, and was arrested shortly after the crash. His car was registered to an address in northeastern Ohio.
His mother Samantha Bloom told the Toledo Blade that her son had told her last week he was heading to an "alt right" rally in Virginia, but she didn't know more about it.
"I try to stay out of his political views. I don't get too involved,” she told the Blade.
"I told him to be careful ... if they are going to rally, to make sure he is doing it peacefully," she said, before breaking down in tears. —Claudia Koerner
Virginia governor tells white supremacists to "go home" after 3 people die in violence
As violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white supremacist protest, the governor told those who had come for the event to "go home."
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also said he had spoken with President Trump and told him the only way to move forward was to bring people together and stop the hate speech.
The protests started Friday night around a Confederate statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, and by Saturday, the "Unite the Right" rally had turned into full blown chaos, with a car plowing into a group of anti-racist demonstrators, killing one, and a helicopter crashing nearby, killing two state police officers.
McAuliffe on Saturday thanked those helping amid the chaos, and also had powerful words to the racists who had descended upon his state.
"Our message is plain and simple: Go home," McAuliffe said. "You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you're patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots? Talk about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who brought our country together."
Read more here.
—Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Two dead after state police helicopter crashes near Charlottesville
Two police officers were killed Saturday in a helicopter crash not far from white supremacist demonstrations and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The crash took place around 4:50 p.m., in a wooded area near Birdwell Golf Course, about seven miles southwest of Charlottesville, authorities said.
Two people on board the helicopter were killed, Virginia State Police said. No one on the ground was injured in the crash.
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