Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances 20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home MORE (R-Ariz.) is pressing President Trump to make clear that there is not a "moral equivalency" between white nationalists and the counterdemonstrators that turned out in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.
"There's no moral equivalency between racists [and] Americans standing up to defy hate [and] bigotry. The President of the United States should say so," McCain wrote on Twitter.
There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 15, 2017
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump slammed the "alt-left," which he said violently confronted neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups in Charlottesville on Saturday, doubling down on his previous claim that "many sides" should take the blame for the clashes that erupted during the demonstrations.
He also defended demonstrators who gathered in the Virginia college town to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
“Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me," he said at a news conference. "Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
But those statements prompted criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who accused Trump of likening protesters opposed to racism to white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.