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Trump condemns racism on anniversary of Charlottesville alt-right march, urges national unity

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump called on Americans to unite on the anniversary of a protest march in Charlottesville that sparked a violent clash between participants and counter-protesters.
  • "I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans," the president wrote on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida, on July 31, 2018. 
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned "all forms of racism and violence," making an appeal for national unity on the anniversary of a nationalist march in Charlottesville that sparked violent clashes between elements of the political left and right.

As Washington, DC braces for a possibly tense "Unite the Right 2" rally on Sunday, the president struck a conciliatory tone that urged Americans to "come together as a nation." Last year, violence flared between counter-protesters at a march organized by a pro-nationalist group that left one woman dead.

Trump's controversial response to the violence in Charlottesville — in which he said "both sides" were to blame for the conflict — drew intense backlash, even from within his own party. After calling the alt-right protesters "fine people," the president was harshly criticized by South Carolina GOP Senator Tim Scott, who said his "moral authority was compromised. "

Since then, the president has become embroiled in several high-profile, polarizing debates over race relations. His response to the NFL's anthem protests, and his public fights with professional athletes, have been blasted for being racially insensitive.