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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 GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.) called out President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Ivanka Trump doubles down on vaccine push with post celebrating second shot Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney 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 FlakeThe unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  Cindy McCain: Arizona election audit is 'ludicrous' The Republicans' deep dive into nativism 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.

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"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.