Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) today announced a resolution to censure President Donald Trump for his comments blaming “both sides” for deadly violence that erupted during a gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) are co-sponsoring the resolution for Congress to formally condemn President Trump over his “failure to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism.” The resolution also repeats a call made yesterday for Trump to fire members of his administration that support white supremacists, specifically naming White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka.
The last president censured by Congress was Andrew Jackson in 1834.
Violence broke out in Charlottesville this weekend when white nationalists flocked to the Virginia city to protest the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee. On August 12, an Ohio man who has expressed white supremacist views drove through a crowd of counter-demonstrators, killing a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.
President Trump on Tuesday faced criticism for saying the mythical “alt-left” deserves as much blame for the violence in Charlottesville as white supremacists who gathered this weekend to carry torches and chant “Jews will not replace us.” His tacit nod to hate groups, praised by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, came during a tense exchange with the press at Trump Tower in Manhattan. In doing so, Trump flip-flopped from scripted remarks he gave the day before condemning “neo-Nazis and the KKK” as criminals, which were themselves a reversal from an ad-libbed comment on the day of the violence blaming “many sides.”
“Not even a week has passed since the tragedy in Charlottesville. But on Tuesday, the president poured salt on the nation’s wounds by defending those who marched with white supremacists,” Jayapal said in a statement announcing the censure resolution. “In an unscripted press conference, we saw the real and unfiltered Donald Trump – the logical endpoint for a man who has consistently trafficked in racism throughout his career.”