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Republican lawmakers criticize Trump response to Charlottesville

Republican lawmakers went after President Trump on Saturday over his statement on violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., with one senator saying Trump should call it a "terror attack by white supremacists." 

"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism," Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats must end mob rule GOP senators praise Haley as 'powerful' and 'unafraid' Democrats won’t let Kavanaugh debate die MORE (R-Colo.) tweeted. 

Gardner was joined by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference Mnuchin to decide by Thursday whether to attend Saudi conference MORE (R-Fla.) in directly calling out Trump. 

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"Very important for the nation to hear [President Trump] describe events in Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by white supremacists," Rubio said on Twitter. 

The Senate's second-highest ranking Republican, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Congress should work with Trump and not 'cowboy' on Saudi Arabia, says GOP senator US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK MORE (Utah), said not calling out neo-Nazis was personal for him, recalling his brother's death in World War II.

"We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home," Hatch tweeted.  

Trump condemned the "egregious" clashes at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, but he avoided putting blame on any particular group, instead saying hatred by "many sides" were to blame.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review MORE (R-Iowa) took to Twitter to say white nationalists were taking part in homegrown terrorism.  

"What 'White Nationalists' are doing in Charlottesville is homegrown terrorism that can't be tolerated anymore that what any extremist does," Grassley said. 

Republican Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference Mnuchin to decide by Thursday whether to attend Saudi conference GOP senator: Not 'appropriate' for Mnuchin to go to Saudi conference MORE (Ariz.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to increase focus on maternal deaths 7 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina MORE (S.C.) also chimed in.

White nationalist, white supremacist and alt-right groups were initially scheduled to gather in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park Saturday to protest the city's decision to remove a Confederate statue there. 

But as clashes broke out ahead of the so-called "Unite the Right" rally Saturday morning, police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, breaking up the event before it officially began.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) confirmed Saturday night that at least one counter-protester was killed in the violent clashes, and two police officers died in a nearby helicopter crash during the rally.

- This post was updated at 7:36 p.m.