President Donald Trump said on Saturday that there is “no place for this kind of violence in America” as reports from a rally in Charlottesville, Va., depicted violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters.
“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!,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Less than an hour prior, first lady Melania Trump similarly spoke out against the violence in Virginia.
“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence,” she wrote on Twitter.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency late Saturday morning and the Associated Press reported that police dressed in riot gear have ordered people to disperse after violent confrontations between white nationalists and counter protesters ensued.
According to the report, Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler had called for what he termed a “pro-white” rally to protest Charlottesville’s plan to remove of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. The decision is a part of the city’s efforts to change public places named after Confederate figures.
Nancy Cook contributed to this report.