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 GardnerSen. Gardner won’t let Jeff Sessions tread on Colorado’s cannabis boom Trump presses GOP to change Senate rules Republicans insist tax law will help in midterms MORE (R-Colo.) called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Both parties need to do more on drug prices Senate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump White House: Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, six countries 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 FlakeOvernight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate The Hill's 12:30 Report Booker admits defeat in Capitol snowball fight with Flake 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.

"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.