Trump business council disbands as criticism over Charlottesville reaction grows

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that “many sides” bore blame for the violence without directly repudiating racial supremacists

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that “many sides” bore blame for the violence without directly repudiating racial supremacists

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the last two Republican commanders in chief before Trump, just put out a strong joint statement on the violence that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend, condemning "hatred in all its forms".

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush say in a joint statement that "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms".

Both Bushes have made an effort to stay out of politics since they left the presidency, but apparently felt like they needed to speak publicly against the seeming rise of white supremacy in the United States.

While Wednesday's statement does not specifically mention Trump or the impromptu remarks he made during a jaw-dropping news conference Tuesday, its release does suggest that the former presidents felt the need to distinguish their own views from those expressed by the Republican now occupying the Oval Office.

"We know that these truths are eternal because we are witnesses to the decency and greatness of our country", they concluded.

Mr Trump vacillated on the issue, initially blaming the casualties on "violence on both sides". This weekend, neo-Nazis, KKK members, "alt-right" activists and others descended on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

Saturday's protests in Charlottesville quickly turned violent, with skirmishes immediately breaking out between the white nationalist groups and crowds protesting the event, which claimed the lives of Heather Heyer and a pair of State Troopers.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents visit former school of accused Charlottesville attacker
The next scheduled court hearing is August 25, though Fields' attorney could request a bond hearing before then. Fields grew up in Kentucky and recently moved to OH , his mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press .

"This is awful. The president of the United States needs to condemn these kind of hate groups", Mr Kasich said on NBC's "Today" show.

OH governor John Kasich, meanwhile, said there was no moral equivalency between the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and anybody else.

Earlier this year, George W. Bush voiced his displeasure about both the political climate and some of the President's policies when peppered with questions about Trump's controversial actions on immigration and his targeted travel ban. Failure to do so gave such organisations a sense of victory and license to hold more events elsewhere, he added. The comments mark an unprecedented swipe at Donald Trump.

The statement comes on the heels of the largest white nationalist gathering in the U.S. in decades.

His spokesman said on Wednesday his comments were "motivated exclusively by the shameful and unacceptable events that occurred in Charlottesville - period".

Amid the fraying ties with his party, Mr Trump has planned a rally for next Tuesday in Arizona, the home state of two Republican US senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, who have been particularly critical of him.

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