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Stars of the entertainment world have condemned US President Donald Trump on social media after he refused to denounce white supremacists after the violent rally in Charlottesville.
Speaking at a press conference that was supposed to be about infrastructure, Trump responded to the incident and said there was “blame on both sides”. He attacked what he referred to as the “alt-left” protesters.
He has already been criticised since his initial reaction to the rally which took place last week, where he refused to denounce people in attendance who were seen waving Nazi flags and performing the Hitler salute.
At one point, he said that the protest, which was attended by members of the KKK, included some “very fine people”.
His comments have caused an uproar, with some fellow Republicans criticising him for failing to establish that racism and hate would not be tolerated by the White House.
John McCain tweeted: “There’s no moral equivalency between racists and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry. The president of the United States should say so.”
He was backed up by one of Trump’s rival Republican presidential candidates, Jeb Bush, who stated: “This is a time for moral clarity, not ambivalence. I urge President Trump to unite the country, not parse the assignment of blame for the events in Charlottesville.
“For the sake of our country, he must leave no room for doubt that racism and hatred will not be tolerated or ignored by the White House.”
Prolific figures in film, music, comedy and television also reacted to Trump’s remarks, speaking out on social media to condemn him.
TV legend and Air Force veteran Norman Lear wrote: “I fought Nazis in World War II. They aren’t ‘very fine people’.”
Filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted: “OMG. What did we just watch? He blamed the anti-racism protesters. He likened George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Donald. Trump. F***. You.”
Jimmy Kimmel said he hadn’t seen “anything that crazy since Tyson bit Holyfield”.
Author JK Rowling noted that it was “now impossible for any Trump supporter to pretend they don’t know what he is”.
During the press conference, Trump accused the media of “changing history, changing the culture” of treating the people who were holding the rally “very badly”. He reaffirmed his statement that there were “bad people” on both sides of the violence. Soon after the press conference, the hashtag #ImpeachTrump was a top trend in both the US and the UK. (The Independent)