RNC spokeswoman: GOP stands behind Trump's message 'of love and inclusiveness'

RNC spokeswoman: GOP stands behind Trump's message 'of love and inclusiveness'
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The Republican National Committee is standing behind President Trump amid bipartisan backlash from his Tuesday statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

RNC spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany wrote in a tweet that the party supports what she called the president's "message of love and inclusiveness," insisting Trump's remarks on Tuesday marked a strong rebuke of hate.

In a heated press conference earlier, Trump doubled down on his previous claim that counterprotesters who had gathered in Charlottesville to oppose a white supremacist demonstration should share the blame for the violent clashes that broke out in the city over the weekend.


“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?” Trump asked. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”

The president appeared to criticize the removal of Confederate statues from public properties across the country, suggesting that doing so could lead to statues of other slave-owning Americans, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, being taken down.

He also said the far-right activists in Charlottesville included "some very fine people."

Trump's comments on Tuesday came after he delivered a firmer rebuke of racist groups a day earlier. 

Republicans ranging from House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE (Wis.) to Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE (Fla.) quickly broke with Trump on the issue, saying the white supremacists are entirely to blame for violence at the rally over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"White supremacy is repulsive," Ryan said, adding, "there can be no moral ambiguity."