17:13 GMT26 February 2020
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    The state's Governor Terry McAuliffe said that the recent violence in Charlottesville was not the fault of "both sides" as President Donald Trump suggests.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The recent violence in the US town of Charlottesville, Virginia, was not the fault of "both sides" as President Donald Trump suggests, the state's Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement.

    "Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community. This was not 'both sides,'" McAuliffe said on Tuesday.

    The governor was responding to Trump's remarks at a news conference earlier in the day when he blamed both sides for the violence that erupted at a "Unite the Right" rally on Saturday.

    "Our Commonwealth and nation are still reeling from one of the largest outpouring of hatred and violence we have experienced in recent history. We need real leadership, starting with our President," McAuliffe said.

    He added that leaders from every corner of the United States and every political point of view had denounced the white supremacists who organized the rally without hesitation.

    "The American people need the same from their President and we need it now," McAuliffe said.

    White nationalists held the rally to protest authorities' plans to remove a monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. The protest also drew hundreds of counter-demonstrators, some of whom engaged in violent clashes with the white nationalists.

    The violence culminated when a Nazi supporter slammed his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman, and leaving 19 others injured. Two police officers were killed when their helicopter crashed outside Charlottesville as they were assisting law enforcement officers responding to the violence on the ground.


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