California asks Congress to officially censure Trump over Charlottesville

California asks Congress to officially censure Trump over Charlottesville
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The lower house of the California legislature on Friday night voted on a resolution urging Congress to formally censure President Trump over his response to violence last month in Charlottesville, Va.

“California sent a strong message to President Trump, and the rest of the nation, that we will no longer tolerate his behavior,” California Assemblymember Tony Thurmond said in a statement.

The measure urges other state legislatures to join it in condemning Trump and calls on the president “to publicly apologize to all Americans for his racist and bigoted behavior.”

The resolution was prompted by Trump’s comments that there was blame on “both sides” of a clash between protesters including white supremacist groups and counterprotesters in a rally opposing the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville.

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The president was widely criticized for not explicitly condemning the hate groups involved in his initial, and several subsequent, responses. 

Thurmond introduced the resolution, charging that Trump “legitimized” hate groups including the KKK and neo-Nazis by failing to immediately blame them in the aftermath of the violent rally.

“The leader of the free world can’t continue to use language that legitimizes the actions of extremists groups that promote hate,” he said in the statement. “Congress must exercise its power to check the president by voting for his immediate censure.”

On Thursday, Trump signed a congressional resolution condemning white supremacists. The resolution was intended by Congress to urge him to speak out against hate groups.

"We condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms," Trump said in a signing statement accompanying the resolution.

The signing statement was criticized by some for failing to again specifically reject the groups referenced in the resolution, which were "white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups."