Washington Republicans on Charlottesville and president's response

President Trump is facing a firestorm following his unscripted news conference in which he blamed both sides for the violence in Charlottesville.

The backlash to President Trump’s Tuesday news conference extends from business to politics, from Washington D.C. to Washington state.

Washington State Senator Mark Miloscia (R-Federal Way), wrote on his Facebook Page, in part: “Shame on you President Trump. Apologize for your indefensible comments, and start imitating MLK Jr's leadership on race and violence.”

Leaders on both sides of the aisle in Olympia sent out strong statements Wednesday. Senate Majority leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) said in a statement:

“Every American should be disgusted by the racist rants and violence on display this past week…It’s unacceptable that our country still has to contend with groups who promote one race over all others.”

Democratic Senate leader Sharon Nelson said, in part, “We will continue to fight for a world of inclusion and speak out against hate—even when leaders in the other Washington won’t.”

State Senator Joe Fain, a Republican from Auburn, said everyone has a responsibility to stand up and speak out.

“You can't equivocate on this,” Fain told KING 5. “There's not this side or that side when we're talking about white supremacy. When we're talking about Nazi ideology. It is one of those few things in politics that's black and white. It's wrong; you have to make absolutely clear it's wrong and you can't back away from that.”

“When you start talking about a philosophy that believes that some groups and some races are superior to others, that's a philosophy that's absolutely unacceptable. It's a philosophy that needs to be eliminated in this country, and I think a broad and public dialogue about this is important, because we need to be clear,” Fain continued.

Washington State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison has proposed a resolution to the Republican National Committee condemning the violence and racist beliefs of White Supremacists, saying racist beliefs are inconsistent with the Party's platform.

The State Party didn't comment specifically on the president's Tuesday press conference in which President  Trump again blamed both sides for the weekend violence.

His words have outraged some members of his own party. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) tweeted: “There’s no moral equivalency between racists and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry. The President of the United States should say so.”

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the number four Republican in the U.S. House, didn't name the president but tweeted following his news conference: “White supremacy, racism, bigotry, and any other form of hate have no place in our society. Period.”

Congressman Dave Reichert (R-8th District) in a statement to KING 5 said: “Let me be clear, there is no defense for the KKK or white supremacists and the racist views they stand for, and they must be condemned universally and decisively.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-7th District) is calling for a resolution to censure and condemn the president’s comments.

“The president poured salt on the nation’s wounds by defending those who marched with white supremacists,” Jayapal said in a statement.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-9th District) also called to condemn the president’s statements.

“In failing to clearly disavow hate groups that seek to divide our country, the President is emboldening white supremacists and neo-Nazis,” Smith said in a statement. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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