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Terror in Charlottesville; Trump Blasted for Response to White Supremacist Rally; North Korea Tensions. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired August 13, 2017 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome, everyone. I'm Amara Walker, following breaking news out of the U.S. state of Virginia. Rage, hate and death in the city of Charlottesville. Three people have been arrested after violent clashes between white supremacists and the counter protesters, the people who came out to face them.
The city has authorized police to impose a curfew but they have not done so yet and we are waiting to see if protests start up again. Federal authorities have just opened a civil rights instigation after a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. Police have taken into custody this man who they believe was the driver, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. is being held on suspension of second degree murder.
And we want to warn you, you may find this next video graphic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That man just drove into people. He -- oh, my God. Oh, my God.
WALKER (voice-over): And one woman, a 32-year-old woman, died while she was in this crowd when this car rammed into the people there. Also more than a dozen people have been wounded.
President Trump wrote this on Twitter.
Quote, "Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today and best regards to all of those injured in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad."
However, Democrats and some Republicans are criticizing President Trump for not labeling the protesters for what they are, white supremacists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Earlier, CNN spoke with the reporter who heard from the mother of the man suspected of driving that car into a crowd of counter protesters. Here's what she said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told her last week he was planning to go. He had taken the day off of work. And she described this as an alt-right rally but she had no idea kind of -- she said she was unaware of its extremist natures or leanings as far as the other people who were going to be attending.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she say that her son was part of an of these groups, was somehow simpatico with any of these groups?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So she was pretty unaware of what the definition of alt-right would be. She fumbled over the language. I don't think she had a clear idea of what that definition of what that would be. She said to me that she doesn't try to get too much into his political beliefs and that she's not too well versed in his political leanings in any way. I don't get a sense that she necessarily knew what he was headed for this weekend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Witnesses who saw the car slam into the group of counter protesters in Charlottesville say the vehicle was going extremely fast. Two men who were near the scene told CNN what they saw and heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MAHONY, EYEWITNESS: So, we were walking down the road as Brennan mentioned, but we came around the corner and you can see the car just over the other side of the road. Just sat there, looking down the road. And as he said the protesters were coming down Fourth Street. So, I don't -- I thought that is a bit strange, they didn't seem to be any other cars stopping him from going and then of course, moments later, we heard a car going incredibly fast, you know, down the road. And saw it plow into the crowd and then it reversed back and then some of us ran after the car to take a photo and then followed it -- ran down the road, alerting the police to chase it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, what transpired in those minutes after the car left this block and left view? What was the scene like here?
BRENNAN GILMORE, EYEWITNESS: Well, there was almost an immediate response from first responders. There were state police right here on the mall. I don't know if they actually witnessed it, so we alerted them. We said, you need to get down there immediately. There is first aide crews came in. And then pretty quickly an armored vehicle came down to block the scene. So, you know, the response was quick. But, you know, obviously I understand one person lost their lives and, you know, it was a very, very violent attack.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Brennan, you said that you helped administer first aid to a woman. What else did you observe in terms of victims of that crash?
GILMORE: There were a lot of victims around the scene of the actual crash, he's halfway down the block and then people coming out, you know, bloodied, shaken. Obviously, people having -- you know, hyperventilating. And then, yes, again let the professionals take over. And then we got out of the, you know, got out of scene. It was obviously increasingly a violent day in Charlottesville and I certainly agree with the mayor's recommendation that people should stay home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, Brenna, you travelled here from Washington -- I'm sorry, Chris, you travelled here from Washington, D.C. to be a part of the counter protest to the unite the right rally. How do you describe the emotions you felt as you saw this attack on other counter protesters like yourself?
MAHONY: I can't honestly say though it was emotions of surprise because up around the center of the protest from both sides, you had a high level of antagonism. Right? It wasn't necessarily peaceful. You had people literally in military fatigues with arms walking around. So, of course that's an incredibly intimidating environment. So, then naturally when that happened, I thought this is someone deliberately attacking these people.
You know, because of their beliefs. And, yes, and like Brennan said, yes, it's a little bit traumatizing of course. You know, to witness these people go flying. You know, and later, you know, the carnage. Everybody lying around. Because I walked with the police officer back, you know, from around the corner after we had said, look, one of these cars has to follow and now they were fantastic.
You know, the first officer I came into contact with I said, that car just plowed into a whole load of people, you know, sprinting down the road and I was trying to get away and maneuver through all of these other vehicles and he immediately got on the mic. You know? And got in contact with another police car that kind of pulled out behind it. I think because it was suspicious, because the front of the car was all smashed up. And they had the helicopter overhead and he said, yes, we're on it quickly, tell me where this has happened. And of course, by the time I got back like Brennan said, you know, the response was in full swing.
WALKER: White nationalist and Holocaust denier and the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, was at Saturday's rally. He has been a vocal supporter of the U.S. president. And here's a clip from 2016 when Donald Trump was campaigning and was specifically asked about Duke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, how do you feel about the (INAUDIBLE) from David Duke?
TRUMP: I didn't even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? OK. All right. I disavow. OK? Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Now Duke explained the reasoning for Saturday's alt-right and neo-Nazi rally in Virginia to a reporter with "The Indianapolis Star." Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DUKE, FORMER KKK LEADER: This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We're 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: And then after Mr. Trump condemned the rally and urged Americans to come together, Duke sent a tweet directed at the president, saying that Mr. Trump should take a good look in the mirror and remember that it was white Americans who put him in he presidency, not radical leftists.
For more no on what's happened in Virginia, former South Carolina lieutenant governor Andre Bauer joining me now from Charleston, South Carolina.
Great to see you, Andre. I want to first start with President Trump's comments because that's obvious getting some criticism.
Quote, he said, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides."
What did the president mean by saying many sides?
There's just one side, especially in this case, that expresses that deep level of hatred, right?
ANDRE BAUER, FORMER LT. GOV. OF SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, Amara, I don't know exactly what the president meant. I haven't talked to him, haven't talked to him in some time actually. But I think he was just -- he had been given very early-on information. We have a lot more information than we did when the president actually spoke the first time and I think he was cautious about saying too much without having the facts.
WALKER: Right. But the fact was that this was a white nationalist rally. So he knew the facts that this was a rally that was organized by neo-Nazis. And I thought he -- I thought he was very strong in saying he condemned in the strongest way possible. It was egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on -- and then, he goes back and says, we need to figure out what we're doing wrong as a country.
Why are we having this problem?
Why are these people filled with these -- with this type of behavior?
We need to love each other. We need to respect each other were things he said and he did declare it a state of emergency, which means they will get federal funds to help.
WALKER: Right, but, Andre, the criticism is why didn't President Trump as the leader of the free world call out a hate group that has been historically known for its vile hate, for people based on race and religion?
Why not call them out specifically and say the word white supremacist, neo-Nazis, you have no place in this country?
BAUER: Well, I don't think they have a place in this country. I don't know what the president's reasoning was. I still felt he gave a very strong speech after hearing several of my friends on the other side, who I actually respect and sometimes can change my perspective, I could see where it would have been better had he called them out and gone ahead and removed this whatsoever.
And maybe he will in the next time he speaks. But I thought he was -- as our leader and as someone who's getting the message out to the world that this isn't just about Virginia. This is about our country and what we think, where we do want to make sure that there's freedom of speech. But freedom of speech and hate crimes are two entirely different things. And when violence is invoked, there's got to be immediate stop to this.
And I admire the law enforcement in Virginia to take a quick, swift movement to stop any further violence in their community.
WALKER: And appreciating freedom of speech doesn't exactly mean that you shouldn't call out and condemn out hate speech. Wrong is wrong.
I want to go back to that sound bite, Andre, that we aired of David Duke , the Grand Wizard of the KKK. He was invoking President Trump's name at the rally. He was saying that we are here to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. President Trump not calling out white supremacists and not shouting down what David Duke was saying, why doesn't he distance himself from someone like David Duke?
BAUER: Well, I hope he will. I've seen him do it in the past and I hope he does it again. David Duke is not a -- any way what I think what this country tries to speak to the world about welcoming and being tolerant of other people's views.
In fact, it's just the opposite and it's not healthy. I don't know how he's continued to be relevant. I wish y'all wouldn't even cover him then it would take a lot of his relevance away.
But I hope the president will address that.
Your thoughts on some of the GOP lawmakers who are basically doing what the president didn't do. For instance, Senator Orrin Hatch, tweeting, "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."
Senator Ted Cruz calling it domestic terrorism. Chuck Grassley, what white nationalists are doing in Charlottesville is homegrown terrorism. You have lawmakers, Republican colleagues of the president, who are calling it what it is yet the president not doing that.
How do you explain this huge disconnect between the President of the United States and these GOP senators?
BAUER: Well, those GOP senators had plenty of time to come up with their message. They're not taking on as many as things as the President of the United States is right now. And we do have --
WALKER: Well, the president has had time --
WALKER: -- hours to tweet again, hasn't he?
BAUER: -- sad and unfortunate -- well, I don't know that he said unfortunate.
WALKER: He hasn't called out white supremacy.
BAUER: Well, I hope tomorrow that he does. Again , I was watching Van Jones, a good friend of mine earlier. And I heard his heart. I heard what he was saying and I heard what he wanted to hear from our president. And I think our president will clarify some of the things that maybe he didn't get a chance to address today. WALKER: All right. Andre Bauer, we appreciate you coming on. Thank you so much for your perspective.
BAUER: Thank you, Amara.
WALKER: U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has released a statement about the investigation into the violence in Virginia and he said this in part, "The violence and death in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."
Former U.S. Pres. Barack Obama quoted the late South African anti- apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, in response to the violence in Virginia.
He tweeted this, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of their skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate. And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
Up next, we're going to have much more on the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, at a white supremacist rally, including how the state's history played into Saturday's protest and violence
WALKER: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Amara Walker; breaking news out of the U.S. state of Virginia. Federal authorities have opened a civil rights investigation into a car attack in the city of Charlottesville.
One woman died when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally. Police have arrested this man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Junior. He is suspected of being the driver. Three other people were arrested in connection with clashes between the white supremacists and those counter protesters, the people who came out to face them.
In the meantime Pres. Donald Trump has condemned the violence among "many sides." Democrats and some Republicans are criticizing the president for not labeling the protesters for what they are: white nationalists. The president also said this about the violence in Charlottesville.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville. And we want to study it. And we want to see what we're doing wrong as a country, where things like this can happen. My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens.
But our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Now this rally in Virginia was to protest the planned removal of a statue of a Confederate Civil War general from the city park, Robert E. Lee. Such monuments bring out strong feelings because the Confederate states fought to preserve slavery in the South and many say that makes the statues symbols of racists' past.
But others say they just want to preserve their heritage. Now the issue is especially emotional in Virginia. Here's some background.
Virginia's capital, Richmond, was also the main capital of secessionist Confederacy. Much of the four-year U.S. civil war that began in 1861 was fought in Virginia and a half million men became casualties within its borders.
The state was starved and devastated by the end of the war and many cities erected statues of Confederate generals and the battlefields were often preserved as parks.
In an emotional news conference, Virginia's governor spoke directly to the white nationalists at Saturday's rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple. Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.
You pretend that you're patriots but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who brought our country together.
You think about the patriots today, the young men and women who were wearing the cloth of our country. Somewhere around the globe, they're putting their life in danger. They're patriots. You are not. You came here today to hurt people. And you did hurt people.
But my message is clear: we are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.
We were here today to bring people together, to unify folks. I remind you all that we are a nation of immigrants. Unless you're Native American, the first ships that came to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, and since that time many people have come to our great country to unite us.
Our diversity, that mosaic tile of immigrants is what makes us so special and we will not let anybody come here and destroy it. So please go home and never come back. Take your hatred and take your bigotry. There is no place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: And some strong words as well from the mayor of Charlottesville, also speaking, saying the white supremacists brought hatred into his city and that belongs in the trash heap of history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE SIGNER, MAYOR OF CHARLOTTESVILLE: This tide of hatred and of intolerance and of bigotry that has come to us and that has marched down with torches the lawn of one of the founders of democracy, it is brought here by outsiders and it's brought here by people who belong in the trash heap of history with these ideas.
They're going to be in the trash heap of history. This day will not define us. We will define this day by the story that we continue to tell tomorrow and the tomorrow after that, the week after that and the year after that.
There is very sad and regrettable coarseness in our politics that we've all seen too much of today. Our opponents have become our enemies; debate has become intimidation. What democracy is about -- and we this here because we're the birthplace of democracy -- it's about deliberation. It's about action. It's about progress. It's about working together and it's about, at the end of the day, if you disagree with somebody, you don't try to take them down. You agree to move forward.
These folks do not want that. They do not agree with the rules of democracy and they are on the losing side of history. The work of rebuilding and healing is just beginning today. Tomorrow will come and we will emerge, I can promise you, stronger than ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions issued this statement just a short time ago, quote, "The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."
Now other Republicans have been more pointed about labeling and condemning the agitators. House Speaker Paul Ryan said "White supremacy is a scourge that must be defeated."
Former presidential candidate Jeb Bush tweeting, "White supremacists and their bigotry do not represent our great country."
And Sen. Marco Rubio calling Saturday's violence a terror attack by white supremacists.
Now Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell did not use that term but instead said, "Hate and bigotry do not reflect American values." Some critics say President Trump's lack of condemnation are actually
calling out specifically the white supremacists sends a very strong message. CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said, in many ways, it lends them legitimacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: We do know one thing that's clear. The president in saying we've had violence and hatred and bigotry on many sides, on many -- as he repeated -- on many sides did equate -- he placed a moral equivalency between the neo-Nazis and the people who showed up today to defend racial justice.
He essentially -- and in doing that and by putting that equivalence on -- he, in effect, defended the neo-Nazis. That in effect was an offense. Everybody does it; oh, everybody out there is doing; everybody has to calm down.
I'm sorry. The -- they -- what we have to be very clear about is -- a second thing is, yes, there is a First Amendment protection for freedom of assembly, freedom of speech but is not an unfettered right. You do not have a right under the First Amendment -- the courts have been quite clear about that -- you do not have a right to use language that incites violence.
And when you have groups marching through Charlottesville as they were, chanting anti-Semitic slurs, when they are going after blacks, when they're saying take this country back and make it a white dominated country again, that's an incitement to violence and that's what we then had.
Primary responsibility then for the violence rests with those people who were the neo-Nazis and the white supremacists and the other extremists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: David Gergen there.
After the break, more on the news out of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the significance of President Trump not labeling the protesters as what they are: white supremacists. Stay with us.
ANNOUNCER (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
WALKER (voice-over): And welcome back, everyone. I'm Amara Walker. We continue with coverage of our breaking news out of the 10th violent and deadly day in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Three people have been arrested after clashes between white supremacists and people who came out to face them, the counter protesters. We're also getting new video and we do need to warn you, you may find it disturbing.
It shows the moment a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally -- this is an aerial view. When this happened, one woman was killed in this crowd, a 32-year-old woman.
Federal authorities have now opened a civil rights investigation into the incident. At least 19 people have been hurt. Some are in critical condition. And police have taken this man into custody in connection with that crash, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Meanwhile Democrats and some Republicans are criticizing President Trump for his response to the violence. CNN's White House correspondent Athena Jones with more.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there; that's right. The president did respond to the violence in Charlottesville earlier today. Here is part of what he had to say.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.
It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: And one phrase that you heard from the president just now there is getting a lot of attention and a lot of criticism, I should say, and that is when he said the violence, the hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. A lot of folks are saying he is equating the neo-Nazis and white supremacists and white nationalists who were demonstrating today and last night with the folks who were counter demonstrating, protesting the racism and the racial epithets they were espousing.
I asked a White House official what the president meant by "many sides." I asked several White House officials. This is what one of them said.
They said the president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today.
So that was the White House doubling down on this idea that both sides are to blame.
Another thing that is notable here is that the president talked about bringing the country together, about the need to unite, to straighten out the situation in Charlottesville, to study it, to figure out what's going wrong in this country that allows this sort of thing to happen.
Well, a lot of critics on both sides of the aisle are saying that the president himself needs to call out the organizers of these demonstrations by name; specifically we're talking about the white nationalist, people who were carrying flags with Nazi emblems, carrying Confederate flags, people who showed up on the University of Virginia's campus last night, carrying torches, protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.
They note that the president has long criticized people like President Barack Obama for not using phrases like "radical Islamic terrorism," arguing how can you fight or defeat this enemy or this idea without naming it?
They are calling on the president to condemn white nationalists. And one more thing I want to note. This is a president who has not been shy about criticizing a long list of people, whether it's Democrats like President Barack Obama for his former rival, Hillary Clinton, or fellow Republicans like Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Senator John McCain, also the former FBI director, James Comey and the current special counsel, Bob Mueller.
But what he has not done while president is condemn white nationalists, white supremacy, white nationalism or Nazis or neo- Nazis. That is why a lot of folks believe that his statement today, the statement here on Saturday, did not go far enough -- back to you.
WALKER: Thanks to Athena Jones for that.
For more now on the president's response to Charlottesville and the criticism surrounding it, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Dave Jacobson, joining me now from Los Angeles via Skype.
Dave, it's great to see you. Thanks for joining us.
DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks for having me.
WALKER: Just a few moments ago, we heard David Gergen saying that the fact that the president did not specifically call out and condemn the racists, the neo-Nazis from the rally today that was essentially a defense of the white supremacists.
WALKER: Do you see it that way?
JACOBSON: Absolutely. I think it's the equivalency of during the primary campaign when David Duke, one of the leaders of the KKK, had endorsed and embraced Donald Trump's campaign and Donald Trump immediately and for almost a full day refused to disavow David Duke.
I think it's equivalent to that act, where several Republican leaders during the primary campaign to come out and rebuked the -- Donald Trump's action then. And we actually saw David Duke at the rally today. He was on videotape, saying essentially this was the fulfillment of Donald Trump's vision for America.
President Trump was silent in regard to David Duke's comments today.
WALKER: So why do you think President Trump did not single out the white supremacists?
Was this a political move?
Or do you think this is simply an oversight?
We should mention that the president does have strong support from white nationalists and alt-right groups.
So was he hoping to stay quiet faith, you think, and not lose support from his base?
JACOBSON: This was a key demographic -- of his constituency that made up the Trump coalition that propelled him to victory. And so I understand the political calculus while I think it's deplorable that he didn't come out to say that the neo-Nazi, white nationalist movement goes against American values and our inclusive society.
I understand the political calculus coming from his perspective, especially from someone like perhaps Steve Bannon who, of course, embraced the alt-right movement, helped to give birth to it.
And Donald Trump, of course, who propelled the birther movement, to delegitimize the first African American president that we had ever had in our country. This is the culmination of that movement.
Fast forward to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he was the candidate that embraced xenophobia, division, hatred, misogyny, bigotry, anti-Semitic efforts. And then you fast forward to this campaign. All of that was propelled by this white nationalist movement.
So if you're Donald Trump and you're looking at 2020, you don't want to alienate any of your existing constituency when you're only hovering around 33 percent approval rating. Those make up the vast majority of Donald Trump's supporters that he still has in his corner.
So if you're Donald Trump looking to our reelection, of course you don't want to alienate your folks. But that being said, several heavyweight Republicans have come out and condemned Donald Trump's statement, saying it hasn't gone further enough, asking the president to come out, to go further beyond what he had said, calling the white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
I'm talking folks like Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Speaker Paul Ryan --
JACOBSON: -- high-profile Republican U.S. senators who have slipped from the White House on this issue.
WALKER: And that's quite remarkable. And it's also noteworthy that the president has no qualms about calling out people from his own party, bullying Mitch McConnell, calling him out on Twitter, criticizing John McCain, Lindsey Graham; loves to call out the media, tells everyone that CNN, "The New York Times," et cetera, are the enemy of the people.
Yet he's silent when it comes to saying white supremacists are the enemy of this country.
JACOBSON: You can make the argument that Donald Trump is by far the most polarizing president this country has ever seen. He has sowed the seeds of chaos and rather than bringing our country together and being a president of all Americans, Donald Trump has injected a massive wedge between Americans throughout this country. It's why he hasn't come out strong and forceful and not condemning the white supremacists and neo-Nazis today.
And it's why he hasn't really tried to bring people together and commander in chief, as a unifying figure. Instead, he's fanned the flames of division . And that's a really dangerous path to be on as a country when you've got a president who refuses to bring all different sides together.
WALKER: And interestingly, that a president calling for unity but how does the country unite against hate when the president himself wont specifically call out this historically vile group in his criticism?
We're going to have to leave it there, Dave Jacobson, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you. Good to see you.
JACOBSON: Thank you.
WALKER: Up next, while he faces criticism at home over his response to the violence in Virginia, U.S. President Donald Trump also in the middle of disputes with both Venezuela and North Korea.
And now Venezuela accusing him of threatening (INAUDIBLE).
WALKER: Welcome back, everyone. Updating you now on the breaking news out of the U.S. state of Virginia, where white supremacists clashed with counter protesters, what turned into a deadly confrontation on Saturday.
A woman, a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 others were hurt when a speeding car rammed into that crowd of counter protesters, some of those injured are now in critical condition.
The suspected driver of the car, a 21-year-old man from Ohio, has been taken into custody. He is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder. Also the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the incident.
Virginia's governor said he spoke with President Trump about the tragic events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: And I told the president vendor that there has got to be a movement in this country to bring people together. The hatred and rhetoric that has gone on and has intensified over the last couple of months is dividing this great nation.
We need to work together. I told the president that twice. I'd be willing to work with you if we can work together to bring people together. But stop the hate speech, stop the rhetoric in this country. We have got to bring people together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Also Saturday, two state troopers were killed when their police helicopter crashed while it was assisting in operations related to Saturday's unrest during those rallies.
The violence in Charlottesville comes as the U.S. is also facing the North Korean missile threat. The White House says President Trump discussed the issue with French president Emmanuel Macron Saturday. The two leaders reportedly agreed on the need to confront the increasingly dangerous situation.
For more on this, CNN's Alexandra Field joining me now from Seoul.
WALKER: Hi, there, Alexandra. So what more can you tell us about this conversation and the fact that both leaders agreed on confronting this problem?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the kind of conversation frankly that the U.S. has been having with a lot of its allies around the world, a lot of the parties who are highly concerned about the mounting crisis in North Korea.
This is an administration that had done a lot of diplomatic work with other countries to get everyone on board in terms of enforcing this latest round of U.N. sanctions. So these have been the details of discussions that President Trump is yet again having with world leaders.
Not only did he talk to President Emmanuel Macron, he has also been speaking to President Xi Jinping in Beijing. But really the whole world has been watching the conversation that he has been having at North Korea, not exactly with North Korea but this exchange of rhetoric that we saw ratchet up all week long. It started back on Tuesday when you saw Donald Trump making those first comments that sort of had jaws dropping around the world, about fire and fury the likes of which North Korea had never seen. That solidified with a tweet later in the week in which President
Trump said the military options had been locked and loaded and he warned Pyongyang against any overt threats or an attack on Guam.
That was something that North Korea had also been threatening earlier in the week, to deploy their intermediate missiles to land in the waters near Guam, a plan they say they are reviewing that could be ordered by the leader of that regime, Kim Jong-un.
The tense security situation on the peninsula has led Russia to up its air defenses. Japan has been deploying its land-based missile interceptors and here in South Korea, officials say they're maintaining a full readiness posture.
Later this month we will see the South Korean military engaging in their annual training exercises with the U.S. military. Amara, we know that those training exercises always raise the tension levels here on the peninsula. It is something that Pyongyang strongly objects to.
So world eyes will be closely watching to see how Pyongyang could react when those exercises start later this month.
WALKER: And that's something that North Korea as a pretext to invasion. Thanks so much for joining us, Alexandra Field, in Seoul.
Venezuela says U.S. President Trump is a threat to peace and stability in Latin America. Its foreign minister issued the government's official response after Mr. Trump refused to rule out using military force in Venezuela.
The country's defense minister also called Mr. Trump's talk of possible military action , quote, "crazy act."
Venezuela is gripped by an ongoing economic and political crisis.
We're also learning more about the investigation into the Trump administration's possible ties to Russia. "The New York Times" is reporting special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to interview current and former senior officials from the Trump team. That includes a former White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, who was dismissed last month.
The report says Mueller is also asking the White House about specific meetings and looking into the firing of FBI director James Comey.
Still to come, lawmakers react to the violence in Charlottesville. What they are saying and not saying.
WALKER: We are following breaking news out of the U.S. state of Virginia. A white nationalist rally in the city of Charlottesville turned violent and deadly. Three people have been arrested over clashes between white supremacists and counter protesters.
Also federal authorities have opened a civil rights investigation into a car attack, a deadly one. One woman, a 32-year old, died when a car rammed into a crowd of counter protesters who were rallying against the white nationalists.
Police have taken this man into custody in connection with that crash; 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Meanwhile, Democrats and some Republicans criticizing President Donald Trump for not labeling the protesters for what they are: white nationalists.
Lynn Sweet is the Washington Bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun-Times" and she's joining now from Washington, D.C.
Lynn, great to see you. My first question to you, why didn't President Trump single out and condemn the neo-Nazis?
LYNN SWEET, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": That's the big question of the day. That's why President Trump is getting criticism. That's why there is talk about how he had a false equivalency in his statement, when he just said there are many sides to blame.
The issue is even without violent protests in Charlottesville, this was a rally called by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. One of the largest in America in many years. That alone would have been worth condemning, deploring the sentiments and the beliefs of the people holding this rally.
That he did not do it is why he is being subject to criticism because it minimizes the issue that he seemed to ignore, white supremacy.
WALKER: Do you think this was just an oversight or perhaps a politically calculated move on, you know -- by President Trump so as to not upset his supporters?
We know that he does have strong support from white nationalists and the alt-right and of course during the campaign we remember that he was endorsed by David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the KKK and refused to disavow him until he did.
But what do you think it was?
Was this intentional?
SWEET: Well, my analysis is, by this time it's intentional because he has -- we're talking about a statement he made hours ago. He has been on Twitter with various posts about the clashes in Charlottesville since then for hours.
The thing about Twitter is you can correct. You could expand and amend your comments. So at this point, since there has been so much discussion about how his comments were taken, he could have said, by the way, I do of course deplore neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, racism.
So by not doing it, you could conclude it's intentional because he and his advisers must've heard by now or could've heard the flack.
Now why he did it, well one analysis I have politically is that he does not want anger his base and by saying was everybody's fault, which it is not, is why he's getting in trouble from his critics.
WALKER: It was really interesting the way a "New York Times" reporter put it, Glenn Thrush wrote this, quote, "It is neither unfair nor inaccurate to point out that the president has been tougher on Mitch McConnell than Putin or --
WALKER: -- "Nazis in the last 24 hours."
Lynn, do you agree with that --
SWEET: I do.
WALKER: -- has a problem calling out or bullying his own Republican colleagues or even calling out CNN, "The Washington Post," "The New York Times," as an enemy of the people, yet the white supremacists are not the enemy of the people?
SWEET: Well, that goes to what I'm saying. You could add to that list of people he's called out, even his allies: Jeff Sessions, Republican senators. The reason that I am critical and others are raising questions about why he didn't call out white supremacists isn't because he doesn't know how to.
We know, as you just mentioned, he clearly knows you to call out people; that he did not want to do this is telling. He's had time to correct. We'll see what happens. He's been talking far more to the United States press corps in the last few days than he has in weeks.
He has a press conference on Monday, where if he does not address white supremacy, tomorrow I'm sure it will come up because I just want to underscore this.
This was not just a clash of two sides where we're not sure why it started or it was a protest over something else. This was a rally called by white supremacists.
WALKER: Lynn Sweet, we appreciate you joining us.
And thank you for joining us. That is our time for now. I will be back in a few minutes from now with continuing coverage of our top story today, terror attack in Virginia, one person was killed, 19 others injured, several remaining in critical condition after white supremacists took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.
And so on the driver in custody. We will have much more after the break.