Congress approves measure condemning Charlottesville violence, white nationalists

S. Carolina Sen. Tim Scott to discuss Charlottesville response with Trump

S. Carolina Sen. Tim Scott to discuss Charlottesville response with Trump

The US Congress has unanimously passed a resolution against increasingly prevalent hate groups in the country, sending a clear message to President Donald Trump who stirred controversy by his response to a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.

President Trump dragged out the controversy, reading a statement criticizing the "KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups", then spending the next few days making it clear he resented being forced to do so. It calls on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Homeland Security to "investigate thoroughly all acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and associated groups in order to determine if any criminal laws have been violated and to prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence".

Trump was roundly criticized by lawmakers of both parties last month after he blamed "both sides" for the August 12 violence that resulted in the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer, as well as his suggestion that some "very fine people" were among the white-nationalist marchers.

In addition to noting the deaths of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, the resolution recognizes "several other individuals who were injured in separate attacks while standing up to hate and intolerance". A number of lawmakers slammed the president for doubling down on comments that both sides were responsible for the violence that took place.

It describes the murder of Heather Heyer as a "domestic terrorist attack".

Draft language circulated by Garrett's office and reviewed by The Washington Post suggested that both "white supremacists and neo-Nazis, from across many states" and "counter protesters" had "engaged in acts of violence".

The Senate passed by unanimous consent today a resolution condemning white supremacist groups and calling on President Trump "to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those group".

The gathering of white supremacists began as a rally to protest the Charlottesville city council's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Lawmakers from Virginia said Congress spoke with "a unified voice" to unequivocally condemn the unrest, in which Heyer was killed.

It's hard to see why Trump wouldn't sign, since the resolution doesn't explicitly condemn his previous remarks, or require his administration to take action.

Last month, the United Nations issued a rare warning over what it called "alarming" racism in the US.

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