Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that he stands by President Trump’s remarks about the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The president has been criticized for defending white supremacists, calling out violence on “both sides” and for saying there were “very fine people” at the “Unite the Right” rally.
“What happened in Charlottesville was a tragedy and the president has been clear on this tragedy and so have I,” Pence said. “I spoke at length about this heartbreaking situation on Sunday night in Colombia and I stand with the president and I stand by those words.”
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“But today, while I am here in Chile, our hearts are in Charlottesville because just a few short hours ago, family and fiends gathered to say farewell to a remarkable young woman, Heather Heyer.”
“Our hearts are in Charlottesville,” Pence continued.
The Hill added:
Heyer was killed when a man with ties to right-wing groups allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.
Pence spoke to reporters from Chile, the latest stop on a South American trip. The vice president though is cutting short the trip and is returning to the U.S. ahead of schedule on Thursday.
Trump was widely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday after he doubled down on his assertion that white nationalists and counterprotesters were both to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the alt-right?” Trump asked. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”
Trump’s comments drew praise from Former KKK leader David Duke.
“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa,” Duke tweeted.