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GOP Sen. Cory Gardner urges Trump to call Charlottesville crash terrorism

Last Updated Aug 13, 2017 1:18 AM EDT

A top Republican senator called out President Trump on Twitter Saturday, after Mr. Trump declined to condemn white nationalists when violence at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left one person dead and 34 others injured.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2018, called on Mr. Trump to “call evil by its name.” Mr. Trump, in brief remarks Saturday from his working vacation at his golf club in New Jersey, said he condemned violence “on many sides.” Given a chance to clarify what Mr. Trump meant by “all sides,” a White House official told the press pool the president was “condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Gardner, who had perhaps the strongest statements of any Republican Saturday afternoon. 

At least five other Republican senators agreed with Gardner’s language. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted he wanted the Department of Justice to investigate the incident.

Sen. John McCain, meanwhile, referred to the white nationalists as “traitors.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), also had strong words for the president. 

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