- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2017

President Trump on Thursday slammed Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for saying Mr. Trump suggested a “moral equivalency” between neo-Nazis at last weekend’s Charlottesville rally and people like Heather Heyer, who was killed after a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.

“Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists…and people like Ms. Heyer,” the president tweeted.

“Such a disgusting lie. He just can’t forget his election trouncing.The people of South Carolina will remember!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Mr. Trump also said the media is misinterpreting what he has said in the aftermath.

“The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!” he tweeted.

Mr. Graham said in a statement later Thursday that Mr. Trump’s tweet honoring Ms. Heyer was “very nice and appropriate.”

“However, because of the manner in which you have handled the Charlottesville tragedy you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country. For the sake of our nation — as our president — please fix this,” Mr. Graham said.

“History is watching us all,” he said.

Mr. Graham, who ran for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination against Mr. Trump, had issued a statement on Wednesday encouraging Mr. Trump to try to bring the country together and that the president’s words were dividing Americans.

“Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer,” Mr. Graham said. “I, along with many others, do not endorse this moral equivalency.”

Mr. Trump on Tuesday said activists on both the left and right shared responsibility for the recent violence in Virginia, after white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in Charlottesville.

On Monday, the president had singled out neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists as antithetical to U.S. values after condemning hatred, bigotry, and violence “on many sides” on Saturday in the immediate aftermath of the clashes.

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