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Trump condemns ‘all types of racism’ ahead of Charlottesville anniversary

Ahead of the anniversary of last year’s deadly Unite the Right rally, Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that America needs to “come together as a nation” and condemn all types of racism.

“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division.We must come together as a nation,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence.” For added emphasis the President quickly followed up the tweet with another noting that he was pushing prison reform and that he would never stop fighting for “ALL Americans!”

The comments are a significant contrast to August 2017, when one counter-protester was killed and dozens wounded after James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly ran his car into them. Despite Fields being pictured at the Unite the Right rally with members of the white supremacist group Vanguard America (who have repeatedly denied Fields is a member), Trump went on to condemn “both sides” for the violence.

“You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” Trump said three days after the rally. “Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

At the time, Trump’s comments drew withering criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the comments “sounded like moral equivocation or at the very least moral ambiguity, when we need extreme moral clarity.” White House economic advisor Gary Cohn said that Trump’s comments post-Charlottesville almost caused him to resign.

While the strength of the so-called “alt right” has withered over the last year thanks to infighting, tech crackdowns and public exposure, some of the Trump administration’s policies, particularly in regard to immigration, are exactly what the alt-right have been advocating for. In fact, some on the far-right are concerned that the Unite the Right anniversary rally in D.C. on Sunday will have a detrimental effect on the November midterms, since Republicans are the only party willing to pass hardline immigration laws.

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