Senator Mark Warner of Virginia says President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was “unsatisfactory.”
In an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Warner said Trump had not shown “solid leadership” after the violent protests in the U.K. that left three dead and more than 50 injured in a clash between demonstrators and police.
“The president’s response was unhelpful,” Warner told host Chuck Todd.
“The president is in the midst of trying to address the fallout of the Charlottesville situation, but there’s no sign that he’s taken the president at his word that this is a very serious situation.”
Warner said Trump did not have the authority to condemn the white supremacists who carried out the deadly violence in Virginia on Aug. 12.
“We need to stand up against this kind of violence.
I don’t think it’s a good idea for our country to be allowing people like this to be emboldened,” he said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also did not directly respond to Warner’s remarks.
“I think you’ve got to be very careful in the way you respond to people who have done things like this,” she told Todd.
“He is making a point that we need to speak out, and the president has made a point of making that very clear,” Sanders said.
Warner also suggested that Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville should not have been taken at face value.
“What was the president thinking, when he was making that statement?”
“That was not his initial intention,” Sanders responded.
“There were people in the crowd who were there to protest against the Confederate flag.
And so I think he needs to be careful when he speaks, he needs have a good heart.”