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Trump names hate groups, denouncing Charlottesville violence

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Under relentless pressure, President Donald Trump on Monday named and condemned "repugnant" hate groups and declared that "racism is evil" in a far more forceful statement than he'd made earlier after deadly, race-fueled weekend clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump's initial failure on Saturday to denounce the groups by name — instead he bemoaned violence on "many sides" — prompted criticism from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats. This time, the president described members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as "criminals and thugs" in a prepared statement he read during an unscheduled address from the White House.

"Racism is evil," he said, singling out the hate groups as "repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans."

"Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America," he said.

In his remarks he also called for unity.

"We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans," he said.

Trump also, for the first time, mentioned Heather Heyer by name, as he paid tribute to the woman killed when a car plowed into a group of anti-racist counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

The president left the White House room after his statement without acknowledging reporters' shouted questions.

Trump noted that the Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the car crash that killed...


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