Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has called on his counterpart at the Republican National Committee to disavow and unite against "white supremacists and all their enablers," including President Donald Trump in that group.
Perez did so in a letter to RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel that was obtained by CBS News on Thursday. The letter was a response to Trump's comments in the wake of a white supremacist protest and the death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday. Trump's claim that there was hatred and bigotry "on many sides" provoked widespread condemnation from both the left and the right.
"Madam Chairwoman, the white hoods are gone," Perez wrote. "They march in torchlight now, unafraid to show their faces. They see the president as their leader and fiercest defender."
"There is no denying that these white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan have made their home in this president's Republican Party," he continued. "As chairwoman, you bear a responsibility not just to reject hateful ideology generally, but to hold accountable the individuals in your party who have allowed that ideology to flourish."
McDaniel has repeatedly denounced white supremacist and Nazi supporters of Trump and the march in Charlottesville.
"As chairman of the Republican Party, I want to be perfectly clear that white supremacy, neo-Nazi, KKK and hate speech and bigotry is not welcome and does not have a home in the Republican Party," she said in Detroit on Monday.
The hate & bigotry on display in #charlottesville is dangerous & cowardly.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) August 12, 2017
Perez called on McDaniel to go further in her opposition, asking her to reckon with how history will view her leadership.
"Will history remember your party as one that surrendered to a man who empowered neo-Nazis? Will history remember you as the chair who allowed white supremacy to spread with your party's blessing?" Perez wrote.
He called on her to "disavow" Trump and "unite against white supremacists and all their enablers, including the president of the United States."