Connecticut’s US senators are reacting to President Donald Trump’s impromptu, controversial comments blaming both sides for the deadly weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va.
At a press conference Tuesday, the president doubled down on comments he made about violence that broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that left one woman dead and dozens of other people injured.
"Those people — all of those people — excuse me. I've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee," he said.
At a town hall event in Waterbury, Sen. Chris Murphy reacted to the comments with strong words.
“I nearly threw up when I read that our president used the seal of the US to defend white supremacists,” Murphy said.
Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are aggressively countering the president’s remarks.
“He said they really weren’t all white supremacists that there was violence on the other side - that’s everything these neo-nazis would have wanted the president to say and he said it today,” Murphy said.
Blumenthal responded through a series of tweets, saying “Donald Trump is not the real America. All Americans should condemn these disgusting, indefensible comments. Let us unite.”
When asked for comment, the Connecticut Republican Party stood by a statement they issued Sunday. Attributed to chairman JR Romano, it read in part:
“The events that have unfolded in Charlottesville are not only tragic they're painful. Those who espouse the values of white supremacy, racism and bigotry are not American values they aren't our values.
In the face of hate we must show love. We are encouraging people from around our state and the country to engage in acts of kindness with your neighbors and your community.”
Murphy argued that true American values are what he will continue to fight for and the message from President Trump is what he will continue to fight against.
“I don’t think we can just remain silent when the president of the US is effectively offering a defense of some really, really terrible people,” Murphy said.