GOP senator rips Trump over Charlottesville statement: 'Call evil by its name'

GOP senator rips Trump over Charlottesville statement: 'Call evil by its name'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcConnell calls for Senate hearings on Russia sanctions GOP seeks separation from Trump on Russia Republican bill aims to deter NATO members from using Russian pipeline MORE (R-Colo.) called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE on Saturday for not mentioning white supremacists by name while condemning violent clashes that erupted in Charlottesville, Va. 

"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism," Gardner tweeted. 

Gardner was joined by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Flake: Trump's Russia summit ‘truly an Orwellian moment’ MORE (R-Ariz.) in calling the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville an example of "hate and bigotry."

Trump had said earlier in the day that "many sides" were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, where one counter-protester was killed and dozens of others were injured at a white supremacist rally.

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"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides," Trump said at a press conference on Saturday.

Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke was also present at the event, and he said the gathering was meant to "fulfill the promises of Donald Trump."

Duke endorsed Trump during the 2016 presidential election, but the president disavowed the white supremacist leader after initially dodging questions on the issue.