White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S

After being hashly criticized for lack of response to the violence during a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, US President Donald Trump condemned KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “criminals and thugs.”

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America,” Trump stated.

The US president told reporters at the White House that “racism is evil,” adding that those responsible for violence in the city would be held accountable.

Trump promised to restore law and order in the US. “As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.”

The US Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the Charlottesville, Virginia car ramming attack that killed one woman and injured more than 30 people amid a white supremacist rally on Saturday, he said.

“I just met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation to the deadly car attack that killed an innocent American woman.”

On August 12, the city of Charlottesville in the US state of Virginia saw a major rally of far-right nationalists protesting the removal of a monument dedicated to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The rally, dubbed Unite the Right, which subsequently led to violent clashes between the demonstrators and counter-protesters and culminated in the car ramming attack, resulting in several deaths and many injuries.

On Saturday, Trump condemned the violence in Charlottesville, but said the events showed hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, and did not explicitly condemn “white supremacists” involved in the rally. His statement prompted a storm of criticismfrom both US politicians and the public.

On Sunday, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert tried to explain Trump’s reaction, saying that the US president did not mention the far-right groups in his statement because he did not want to dignify the movement.

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