Trump blamed violence in Charlottesville at white supremacist protests on "many sides."
Republican leaders criticized the President for not calling the incidents "terrorism."
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Bridgewater, New Jersey (CNN)President Donald Trump, a man known for his bluntness, was anything but on Saturday, failing to name the white supremacists or alt-right groups at the center of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Instead, the man whose vicious attacks against Hillary Clinton, John McCain, federal judges, fellow Republican leaders and journalists helped define him both in and out of the White House simply blamed "many sides."
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Trump stepped to the podium at his New Jersey golf resort and read a statement on the clashes, pinning the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. ... It has been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama," he said. "It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America."
Fellow Republicans slammed Trump's lack of directness and attempt to inject moral equivalence into the situation of chaos and terror.
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"We should call evil by its name," tweeted Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate. "My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home."
"Very important for the nation to hear @POTUS describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists," tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, a competitor for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
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"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism," tweeted Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican.
Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, said Trump's speech was not his "best effort," and faulted the President for "failure to acknowledge the racism, failure to acknowledge the white supremacy,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNN
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