Congress Passes Resolution Calling On Trump To Condemn Hate Groups

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The bill, passed unanimously, specifically acknowledges anti-racist activist Heather Heyer - the 32-year-old paralegal who died after an alleged white supremacist rammed his vehicle into a group of counter-protesters during the deadly far right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The joint resolution, passed with the support of both Republicans and Democrats, will go to President Trump for his signature.

The bill specifically condemns "white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups" and "urges the President and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy".

"We hope that President Trump will move quickly to sign this resolution and commit his Administration to address the rise of hate groups".

"I think there is blame on both sides", Trump said at a much-criticized news conference August 15 in the lobby of the Midtown Manhattan Trump Tower.

"If you expect some sort of an epiphany or transformation to occur overnight just because somebody walks into a room, I think they don't understand human nature".

Last month, hundreds of white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville under the banner "Unite the Right" over the city's planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. Its co-sponsors are all the Virginia delegation.

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When it was first published on the White House press page, the caption read: "President Donald J. Trump meets with U.S. Senator Tom Scott, R-S.C., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C". A White House spokesperson told Politico that there were "no announcements" on whether Trump would sign the measure when asked about it Tuesday evening.

The congressional resolution calls Heyer's death a "domestic terrorist attack".

Scott said the president's, "moral authority had been compromised" by Trump's comments that appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who came out to oppose them.

According to Reuters, White House representatives have not yet responded as to whether Trump intends to sign the resolution. The next day he declared in an erratic press conference that there were some "very fine people" among the crowd chanting "Jews will not replace us", and at a rally a week later he cast himself as the victim of dishonest journalists.

The resolution also said the House strongly condemns racism, as well as "intimidation, and violence by all groups - regardless of their political affiliation or political motivation".

Assuming that Trump ultimately approves the resolution, it would be the second time that Congress has strong-armed the president.

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