According to CNN, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) claimed that President Trump failed to demonstrate moral leadership after the divisive and fatal Unite the Right rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper Sunday morning, McAuliffe said, “There’s a time in your presidency when you need to show moral leadership and you need to stand and send a message to the world,” going on the add that President Trump failed to do so during the day of last year’s alt-right rally in Charlottesville.
McAuliffe was still serving as Governor of Virginia when the white nationalist rally took place last August, which tragically ended with the death of 32-year-old counter-protestor Heather Heyer. At the time, the President had asserted that “both sides” were to blame for the violence and death that occurred that day, eventually going on to claim that there were also “good people” amongst both the white nationalist protestors and the counter-protestors. “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now,” the President said in the aftermath of the rally.
A sequel to Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally is being held on Sunday this year in Washington D.C., which has been titled “Unite the Right 2.”
In anticipation of the rally, President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he condemns “all types of racism,” although he did not clarify exactly what he meant by “all types.” In his full tweet, the President stated, “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”
McAuliffe then went on to claim that he had reached out to the President in the midst of last August’s chaotic rally to inform him about the situation, telling Tapper, “I talked to the President that afternoon, explained him the situation, what had been going on, what these people were doing in the city of Charlottesville.”
“And when he came out and gave his statement that it was both sides’ fault,” he continued, “I gotta tell you, it was shocking to me.”
“It wasn’t both sides,” McAuliffe noted.
Recalling last summer’s neo-Nazi demonstration and weighing the President’s previous comments that “both sides” were at fault, McAuliffe added, “The other side were the folks who were protesting against hatred, like Heather Heyer.”