Monday, the former host of Celebrity Apprentice belatedly mentioned neo-Nazis and other hate groups by name in the wake of the fatal Charlottesville terror attack. Trump, who can count anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Duke among his biggest early supporters, read words to the nation that were surely prepared by someone else. Speaking in a slow and straining tone, Trump called racism "evil" and called for everyone to love each other.
"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," Trump, a man who spent years attempting to undermine President Barack Obama with a preposterous birther conspiracy theory, said Monday.
Predictably, Trump didn't kick off his comments with a mention of the terror attack. Instead, he spent a full minute offering up empty brags about himself. Following the aforementioned "racism is evil" portion of his speech, Trump confusingly referred to himself as a candidate. Watch Trump's full remarks (starting at the 21:50 mark) in the video up top, then peruse some reactions below:
Trump's previous statement on the Charlottesville terror attack included the phrase "on many sides," which allowed Trump to avoid outright condemnation of neo-Nazis and others of their ilk.
Heather Heyer was killed Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car into a crowd of Charlottesville protesters, police said. Monday, the Associated Press reported that Fields had been denied bond. Fields has been charged with one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury.