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 Scott GardnerBipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia Dems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt Lawmakers eager for 5G breakthrough MORE (R-Colo.) called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery 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 FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger 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.