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Trump responds to clashes at white nationalist rally in Virginia


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- Morgan Whitaker | AOL.com
President Donald Trump tweeted out the following message after officials declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville, Virginia as violent clashes broke out between white nationalists and counter-protesters.

"We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!" the president said.

He followed up with a subsequent tweet a few minutes later saying he was at his property in Bedminster, New Jersey, "for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!"

David Duke, a former KKK leader who supported Trump during the campaign and attended the Charlottesville rally today, argued that the rally was going to help "fulfill the promises" of Trump.

"This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back," Duke said. "We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That's what we believed in. That's why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he's going to take our country back."

See photos from the scene:

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence joined his boss in condemning the violence.

"I stand with @POTUS against hate & violence. U.S is greatest when we join together & oppose those seeking to divide us. #Charlottesville," Pence said in the tweet.

First lady Melania Trump was the first to respond to the comments, nearly an hour before her husband.

"Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville" she said of the violent rallies.

The president's response drew a somewhat critical response from Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, a Democrat.

"@realDonaldTrump, thanks, at long last, for condemning hate in speech and action. Our work here is just beginning. Yours is too," Signer tweeted in response to the president's tweet.

This is a breaking news update. Learn more about the developing story in Charlottesville here.

White supremacist protesters violently clash with counterprotesters

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  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag as he arrives for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacist holds a flag during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A member of a white supremacists militia stands near a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists stands with militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • VIRGINIA-PROTESTS/
    Virginia State Troopers stand under a statue of Robert E. Lee before a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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