Trump condemns Barcelona attack

Trump condemns Barcelona attack
© Getty Images

President Trump on Thursday condemned a deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, and pledged support to Spanish authorities.

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” he tweeted.

The president weighed in just hours after a van plowed into a crowd of people on a pedestrian strip in a popular tourist area of the city, leaving 13 dead and more than 50 injured.

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Police called the incident a terrorist attack. Spanish broadcaster RTVE reported that authorities have arrested one suspect. They did not release the suspect’s identity or say whether he acted alone or in coordination with an extremist group.

Trump joined a chorus of other U.S. officials and lawmakers in condemning the act of violence.

First lady Melania Trump had also tweeted "thoughts and prayers to Barcelona" earlier in the afternoon.

The attack came as Trump faces fierce criticism over his response to the past weekend’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., where a man with ties to white supremacist groups plowed his car into a group of anti-racist counterprotesters who had gathered in response to the protest over the removal of a Confederate statue. One died and at least 19 were injured in that attack.

The president initially failed to single out white supremacist groups that fomented the violence, and he bulldozed over a specific condemnation made by the White House a day later. He said Tuesday that there is “blame on both sides” for the violence.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Democrats leave empty chair for McGahn at hearing MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump MORE said Wednesday the car attack that left one dead and 19 injured in Charlottesville could be prosecuted as a hate crime.

The president has not used that label, nor has he described it as a "terror attack."

Trump explained his hesitance to blame white supremacists, telling reporters, "Before I make a statement, I like to know the facts."

-This breaking news report was updated at 2:36 p.m.