Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel says there’s no place in her party for white supremacists and neo-Nazis following a weekend of deadly violence at a rally attended by hate groups in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“We don’t want your vote, we don’t support you, we’ll speak out against you,” McDaniel told ABC News’ David Muir in an interview on “Good Morning America” today.
McDaniel acknowledged that President Donald Trump may have been slow to single out the hate groups when denouncing them. Trump named the groups on Monday after initially making a controversial statement on Saturday that condemned “violence on many sides” in downtown Charlottesville, where white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters.
McDaniel also admitted that the deadly violence was initiated by the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of the Ku Klux Klan who participated in the rally.
A silver Dodge Challenger, allegedly driven by 20-year-old Ohio resident James Alex Fields Jr., barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters and residents during the rally on Saturday afternoon, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring many others.
Following outrage over his initial comments on Saturday, Trump denounced neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan during a statement at the White House on Monday. But the next day, the president told reporters at Trump Tower in New York City that the counter-protesters demonstrating against the rally in Charlottesville were also to blame for the violence, saying “there are two sides to a story.”
“The president was saying that people brought violence from both sides,” McDaniel said on “GMA” today. “And violence isn’t OK, but the blame lays squarely at the KKK, the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis who organized this rally, caused violence and are pushing hate across this country.”
McDaniel added that the white nationalist rally was “un-American” and that Republicans and Democrats should not be divided over what happened in Charlottesville, but rather come together to condemn hatred, bigotry and all forms of violence.
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue,” she said. “It’s going to take bipartisanship to bring people together around unifying this country and the president has called for that.”
ABC News’ Kelly McCarthy contributed to this report.