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 GardnerConservation remains a core conservative principle How to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Overnight Defense: Trump to reverse North Korea sanctions imposed by Treasury | Move sparks confusion | White House says all ISIS territory in Syria retaken | US-backed forces report heavy fighting | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan MORE (R-Colo.) called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'Haven't thought about' pardons for Mueller target Pence: Rocket attack 'proves that Hamas is not a partner for peace' Conservation remains a core conservative principle 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's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP 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.