U.S. Markets closed

Mike Pence says he supports Trump's response to Charlottesville: 'We will not allow the few to divide the many'

Alexandra Wilts
US Vice President Mike Pence: AP

US Vice President Mike Pence has said he stands by Donald Trump's words on Charlottesville.

The President has been widely criticised for suggesting that white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups did not deserve 100 per cent of the responsibility for the violence that resulted in the death of a young woman.

Mr Trump “has been clear on this tragedy...I stand with the president,” Mr Pence said.

“And we're also praying that in America that we will not allow the few to divide the many,” Mr Pence also said. “The strength of the United States of America is always strongest as the President has said so eloquently when we are united around our shared values.”

Inside his Manhattan skyscraper on Tuesday, Mr Trump during a heated exchange with reporters insisted there were “bad” people on both sides in Charlottesville, raising new questions as to how his administration will be viewed over race relations.

The Virginia city became engulfed in violence on Saturday when white nationalist demonstrators gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. The rally, met by counter-protests, quickly became violent – prompting the governor to declare a ‘state of emergency’.

While Mr Trump won praise from white nationalists and former KKK leader David Duke for his comments on Tuesday, several members of Congress from both parties have condemned the President's remarks.

Senator John McCain, whom Mr Trump called out at the news conference for not voting for the Republican healthcare bill, tweeted, “There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so”.