Vice President Mike Pence told NBC on Sunday that the U.S. will not tolerate the hatred and violence of white supremacist groups, using stronger language than President Donald Trump.
"We will not tolerate hatred and violence of groups like white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis," Pence said on NBC. "These extremist, fringe groups have no place in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms."
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Trump took criticism for not specifically naming white supremacists or neo-Nazis in his remarks on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ultimately left a woman dead after a man rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. The suspect, James Fields, has ties to extreme, alt-right views.
Rather, Trump condemned violence, hatred and bigotry "on many sides," saying that such problems had plagued the U.S. long before he or Barack Obama were on the scene.
NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked why Trump didn't use similarly strong language to Pence.
"I think the American people heard the president [Saturday] speak plainly and condemn in his words, in the strongest possible terms, organizations that convey hate and violence," Pence said.
Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said that white supremacist groups should be called out by name.
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
Pence also scolded the press, saying many in the media were spending more time focusing on Trump and his words rather than criticizing the extremists in Charlottesville.