WASHINGTON – President Trump's remarks following a clash of white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend spurred a national debate about whether Trump had gone far enough in disavowing hate groups.
Republican members of Congress, including Minnesotans, stepped up to criticize racism but largely stopped short of directly condemning Trump's response.
"No room for hate in US political discourse," U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis tweeted on Aug. 12. "Should all stand together condemning disgusting hate, racism & violence in Charlottesville."
"There is no place in civil, respectful society for the horrid views expressed & violence in Charlottesville … The driving of a car through a crowd of people today was an act of domestic terrorism," U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen tweeted.
That day, Trump rebuked "hatred, bigotry and violence from many sides," referring to the left-wing groups who showed up to protest the "Unite the Right" rally.
Trump more forcefully condemned white supremacists later, but on Tuesday suggested the protesters at the rally shared equal blame, prompting a fresh round of pushback.
"There is no question about it: white supremacy is repugnant & has no place in this great nation we call home," U.S. Rep Tom Emmer tweeted on Tuesday. He added: "Today, & all days, we must stand together as one nation against the hatred & racism that attempts to divide us."
"This is cut-and-dry: White supremacists & neo-Nazis have no place in our society & that should be made unequivocally clear on all levels," Paulsen tweeted.