Trump Signs Joint Resolution Condemning Hate Groups
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President Trump has agreed to sign a joint resolution recently passed by Congress, The Washington Post reports. The House and Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan resolution, which calls for Trump to explicitly denounce white nationalism and other forms of racism. The resolution also condemns the violence that has recently erupted in places such as Charlottesville, Virginia. Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, affirmed the president’s support of the measure. She said “he looks forward to [signing it] as soon a he receives it.” Sanders also said that Trump has been “very consistent” in his condemnation of “hatred, bigotry, [and] racism of all forms.”
CNN reports that Trump came under criticism after his previous statements on the violence in Charlottesville seemed to equivocate on the issue. He spoke against “hatred bigotry and violence on many sides” and referred to “very fine people” among white supremacists. Sen. Tim Scott, an African-American Republican, recently met with Trump to advise him on race relations, particularly concerning incidents like Charlottesville.
According to the Washington Post, Scott had previously criticized the president for his response to Charlottesville, saying that Trump had “compromised” his “moral authority.” The meeting was intended to expand the president’s understanding of issues facing black Americans. Scott, who is the only black Republican Senator, told the president of his personal history with racism and the challenges he and his family have faced.
The resolution also calls for Attorney General Sessions to investigate crimes by hate groups with greater urgency, Reuters reports. It calls the death of Heather Heyers, a Charlotteville counter-protester who was struck by a car, a “domestic terrorist attack.”
Trump’s agreement to sign has not satisfied all his critics, however. One house of the California legislature recently voted to “[urge] Congress to formally censure President Trump over his response to violence last month in Charlottesville,” The Hill reports. Trump’s critics say that the President should have specifically condemned the hate groups listed in the joint congressional resolution, such as the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups.
The Independent reports that the California State Assembly wants Trump to “publicly apologize to all Americans for his racist and bigoted behavior.” The bill’s author, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, criticized Trump’s statements against both the protesters and counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Thurmond stated that “[Trump’s] comments legitimize these groups that promote hate.” The Independent notes that the Republican-controlled Congress likely will not censure Trump.
The New York Times reports that the resolution had strong bipartisan support. It was introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell, both Republicans, and co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat. Warner stated that the resolution is meant to “send a strong message that the United States Congress unconditionally condemns racist speech and violence.