United States President Donald Trump has condemned the hatred "on many sides" in response to the violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying that "the hatred and division in the America must stop as we are all Americans first."
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," Trump said during a short statement, adding that he had been closely following terrible events unfolding in Virginia.
Mentioning that the current unfolding of events in Virginia is not linked to his presidency, Trump said, "It has been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America."
"Hate and division in the country must stop. No matter our colour, creed, religion, our political party, we are all Americans first," he said, adding that he'd like for his administration to "study" why such violence is occurring. He didn't take questions from reporters.
"What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent," noted Trump. "There are so many great things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it is very, very sad."
Trump said that he spoke to Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe and "we agreed that the hate and the division in the America must stop, and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection-- really, I say this so strongly, true affection for each other."
He further said, "Our country is doing very well in so many ways. We have record -- just absolute record employment. We have unemployment the lowest it's been in almost 17 years. We have companies pouring into our country, Foxconn and car companies and so many others. They're coming back to our country. We're renegotiating trade deals to make them great for our country and great for the American worker."
Demonstrators clashed on the streets of Charlottesville on Saturday morning ahead of a white nationalist rally, with counter-protesters and right-wing nationalist groups converging on the college town in the latest chapter in the United States' debate over race and identity.
The protests were initiated by the city's government decision of removing the confederate past, including a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.(ANI)