Mike Pompeo, the CIA director and former Kansas representative, said President Donald Trump was clear in condemning bigotry in the fatal aftermath of a white nationalist rally in Virginia on Saturday.
“I think the president, frankly, was pretty unambiguous about what his Justice Department is going to do, the way he views how utterly inappropriate it is for this hatred and bigotry – I think the president’s remarks were very clear,” Pompeo said on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
Trump was criticized for not condemning white nationalists by name in remarks he made following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
One woman was killed and 19 others were injured when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protestors. A 20-year-old Ohio man, James Alex Fields, was charged in connection with the death.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides,” Trump said.
“It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
Trump’s comments were seen by some morally equating the counter-protestors and white nationalists. Many Republican lawmakers denounced the white nationalists by name and a few said Trump should have named them.
“Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, said on Twitter.