USA TODAY - A Virginia rally of white nationalists that erupted Saturday in violent clashes with counter-protesters brought a rain of condemnation from public officials, including President Trump who said there is "no place for this kind of violence in America.''
Trump, while vacationing at his New Jersey golf club, addressed the unrest in Charlottesville, Va., where Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency when an alt-right protest of the city's planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee turned unruly.
"We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,'' Trump tweeted Saturday, as ugly images of street fighting flashed on cable television. "There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let's come together as one!''
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
First lady Melania Trump joined the president, saying that "no good comes from violence.''
"Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts,'' the first lady said.
The fighting, featuring clubs and bottle-throwing, followed an unusually large demonstration Friday night with white-nationalists carrying lighted torches through the streets.
"The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant,'' House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted Saturday. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.''
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said the hate-fueled demonstrations were not representative of his state and the rest of the country.
"White supremacists chanting Nazi slogans aren't Virginia or America,'' Beyer said. "They are weak, ignorant, fearful people with citronella tiki torches.''
Beyer referred to Friday night's display in which demonstrators marched with torches generally used to illuminate summertime backyard gatherings.
"Free speech may give them the right to do this but also empowers us to unite to loudly speak out against it,'' said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
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