Donald Trump condemns ‘evil racism’ in Charlottesville

US President Donald Trump has spoken out against racist violence after the killing of a protester in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.

“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs,” he told reporters.

He said the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists were “repugnant” to everything Americans held dear.

Mr Trump was criticised for not specifically denouncing extremists in his initial comments on the violence.

Heather Heyer, 32, died and 19 others were hurt when a car rammed into people protesting against a far-right march.

James Alex Fields, 20, was formally charged on Monday with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run. He was also denied bail during his appearance in court via video from jail.

He is said to have harboured Nazi sympathies.

The justice department is opening a civil rights investigation into the incident.

On Monday, Mr Trump arrived back at the White House from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, to issue a comprehensive condemnation.

“We condemn this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence,” he said. “It has no place in America.”

“Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America,”

He paid tribute to Ms Heyer as well as two police officers killed in a helicopter crash after helping to tackle the unrest.

Ms Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, thanked the president for his “words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred”.

She told NBC News in a statement she also sent her condolences for the families of the two state troopers who were injured.

But some felt Mr Trump’s comments came too late.

Civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton criticised Mr Trump for waiting 48 hours before issuing a full condemnation.

“We had the head of state of Germany speak before we had the president of this country,” he told MSNBC.

“His silence spoke volumes to people. It was too little, too late.” (Courtesy BBC)

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