Charlottesville Mayor Blames Trump for Violence: ‘Look at the Campaign He Ran’

‘I mean, this is not hard’

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The Democratic mayor of Charlottesville, Va., Michael Signer, is pinning blame directly on President Trump for the white nationalist protest and related violence that occurred in his city this weekend. 

The blame for these events, he said, falls "right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president."

On Sunday he appeared on CNN's State of the Union and accused Trump of intentionally courting white nationalists. Here's a transcript:

TAPPER: You said you place blame for these terrifying events -- quote -- "right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president" -- unquote. 

That is a -- that is a very strong charge to level. Why do you think the president himself bears responsibility? 

SIGNER: Well, look at the campaign he ran. I mean, look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacists, white nationalists, a group like that, anti-Semitic groups, and then look on the other hand the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence, you know, put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw yesterday. 

I mean, this is not hard. There's -- you know, there's two words that need to be said over and over again, domestic terrorism and white supremacy. That is exactly what we saw on display this weekend.

And we just aren't seeing leadership from the White House. We certainly are going to see leadership from cities like Charlottesville, from mayors, from leaders all around the country left and right.

Republicans and Democrats, if there is an issue that can unite this country, that this can be a turning point for this democracy, I think it just happened right now this weekend in Charlottesville. 

You know, I -- to be honest, it doesn't matter much to me whether -- he's already on the sidelines, I think, of so many issues. But the country is going to move ahead. This will be a turning point for the country to overcome this stuff, just like we have overcome these challenges in our past. And I think it's happening right now, as we speak.

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