Trump's statements on racial violence vs. previous presidents

Trump's statements on racial violence vs. previous presidents
Posted at 1:54 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 11:15:59-04

(RNN) - President Donald Trump took criticism for not explicitly condemning white nationalist groups following a deadly attack in Charlottesville, VA.

Trump's initial statement about the protests said there was hate "on many sides," which prompted critics and opponents to dismiss his statement as not being strong enough in condemning the extremist groups that initiated the protest.

The statement was in contrast to several other Republican leaders such as Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) all of whom explicitly condemned the demonstrations and white supremacy saying there was no place for hatred in America.

The White House later released an unsigned statement saying Trump "of course" included white supremacy in his rebuke.

Trump updated that statement Monday to condemn white supremacist groups and called racism "evil."

Here's how the president's statements compare to previous presidents' remarks on other racial incidents.

Trump on Charlottesville

Saturday: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides - on many sides. It's been going on for a long time on our country. It has no place in America."

On Twitter: "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!"

Monday: "We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. Racism is evil. Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America."

Barack Obama on Baltimore riot

"There is no excuse for the kind of violence we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and star prying open doors to loot, they're not protesting. They're not making a statement. They're stealing. When they burn down a building, they are committing arson. They are destroying and undermining businesses in their own communities. So, it is entirely appropriate that mayor of Baltimore and the governor work to stop that kind of senseless violence and destruction. That is not a protest. That is not a statement. It's a handful of people taking advantage of the situation for their own purposes, and they should be treated as criminals."

Obama on Charleston shooting

"The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history.  This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked.  And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals."

Obama on Sikh temple shooting

"We don't yet know fully what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act. If it turns out, as some early reports indicate, that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes. I think it will be very important for us to reaffirm once again that, in this country, regardless of what we look like, where come from, who we worship, we are all one people."

George W. Bush on segregation

Bush was responding to a birthday message for Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), who ran for president on a segregationist ticket, by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS).

"Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong. Recent comments by Sen. Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized, and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals."

Bush on Muslim community - Sept. 20, 2011

"I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them."

Ronald Reagan on Ku Klux Klan support

1980: "I have no tolerance whatsoever for what the Klan represents," he said in 1980 after a meeting with Jesse Jackson. "Indeed, I resent them using my name."

1984: ''Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse. 'The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood.''

Lyndon Johnson on Selma

"I am certain Americans everywhere join in deploring the brutality with which a number of Negro citizens of Alabama were treated when they sought to dramatize their deep and sincere interest in attaining the precious right to vote."

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