CNN is reporting that President Trump insisted that he speak about the growing economy before remarks on Charlottesville, Va., in which for the first time since last weekend's violence he called out white supremacist groups for their actions.
"We are told by our White House team — and this is as telling as it gets — the president insisted on putting those economic remarks at the top of his statement before he got to the events in Charlottesville, before he got to his denunciation of the KKK and other hate groups," host John King reported on CNN's "Inside Politics."
"That was the president's call," King added.
"I'm in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy, and major tax cuts, and reform," he said.
"We are renegotiating trade deals, and making them good for the American worker, and it is about time. Our economy is now strong. The stock market continues to hit record highs, unemployment is at a 16-year low. And businesses are more optimistic than ever before," Trump said in his address.
"Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them. We have already created over 1 million jobs since I took office. We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon, but based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone," he continued.
Trump then condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and other hate groups and declared that "racism is evil."
One person was killed and 19 other wounded after a man who took part in the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville drove his car into a crowd. The alleged driver, James Alex Fields Jr., was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Fist fights in the streets of Charlottesville took place on Saturday as white supremacist groups converged on the college town and were met by counterprotesters.
Trump initially blamed "many sides" for the violence, until on Monday he singled out the far-right groups after coming under pressure from other Republicans.