Published: Mon, August 28, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Tillerson on Trump's Charlottesville response: 'The president speaks for himself'

Tillerson on Trump's Charlottesville response: 'The president speaks for himself'

Sec. of State Rex Tillerson was asked about Trump's values after the United Nations criticized his response to racist demonstrations in the US.

In the immediate aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, where several anti-racist counter-demonstrators were injured and one was killed, the USA became the subject of widespread global scrutiny and drew criticism from the U.N.'s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

"We express America's values from the State Department".

WALLACE: And the president's values?

"And the president's values?" asked Chris Wallace, the Fox news anchor.

Trump was widely criticized for his response to the racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, in which he said "both sides" - white supremacists and those protesting them - were responsible for the clashes that left one woman dead and dozens injured.

Pressed on whether Trump had undermined that message, Tillerson said: "I don't believe anyone doubts the American people's values or the commitment of the American government or the government's agencies to advancing those values and defending those values".

Trump has been under fire due to his failure to immediately condemn the recent tragedy in Charlotesville، in which a driver plowed into demonstrators protesting against white supremacists، killing a young woman and injuring almost 20 others. When Chris asked him whether he was distancing himself from Trump's comments, Tillerson replied that he had made his remarks as to American values, and the need to uphold them.

In front of the students, the secretary of State had, on August 18, strongly "condemned the racism and bigotry in all their forms ".

Mr. Tillerson's remarks on Sunday stood in stark contrast to those of another cabinet member, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who defended Mr. Trump's response. Rogers, an expert on former Nicaragua dictator Daniel Ortega, stated that he sees similarities between the United States leader and Latin American presidents who stay in power for extended periods.

On North Korea, Tillerson said the missile tests don't necessarily mean that Kim Jong Un's regime is thumbing its nose at the offer of negotiations with the United States.

"Racism is evil - it is antithetical to America's values, it is antithetical to the American idea", Tillerson said. For example, top economic adviser Gary Cohn told the Financial Times that Trump's team "must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups".

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