President Donald Trump on Saturday called for the nation to “come together” ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We must come together as a nation.”
On Sunday, white nationalists will gather at a “Unite the Right” rally near the White House marking the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally, which resulted in the death of a counter-protester after a supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people.
The president’s response to the rally was heavily criticized after he asserted during a press conference at Trump Tower that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
On Saturday, Trump wrote that he condemns “all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”
No permits were granted for a similar rally in Charlottesville this year and the city, county and Virginia have declared a state of emergency to allow for increased police presence. Multiple counter-protests are scheduled to take place in Washington.
The president followed up his Charlottesville tweet by touting his administration’s record on African-American and Hispanic unemployment levels. On Friday, amid the release of excerpts of a book criticizing Trump’s record on race relations by Omarosa Manigault, a former White House staffer who is African-American, Trump thanked rapper Kanye West for his support, following an interview broadcast with Jimmy Kimmel late Thursday.
The president, who is staying at his golf club in New Jersey, earlier Saturday returned to his criticism of current and former FBI officials, echoing calls from his congressional allies that the Justice Department had not turned over documents related to officials like former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe in a timely manner.
“Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities,” the president wrote. “FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding?”