Donald Trump ‘muddies water’ in assigning blame over Charlottesville violence

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Workers sits the monument dedicated to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney after it was removed from outside the Maryland State House. Maryland workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly. Photo: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

A Republican senator has said President Donald Trump “muddies the water” when he assigns blame to anyone other than white nationalist groups for the deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma said the unrest in Charlottesville “was solely the responsibility of the white nationalists that were … provoking what was occurring there”. Mr Lankford added that Mr Trump needs “to stay very consistent and clear” in his opposition to white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.

The senator is being less critical of the president than several of his party colleagues after Mr Trump declared there “there is blame on both sides” for Charlottesville. Mr Lankford said: “Any time he steps up and tries to equate two groups or two conversations, I think that muddies the water.”

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