RNC chair: Trump 'did the right thing' in condemning hate groups

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  • Ronna Romney McDaniel also said such groups "have no place in our party"
  • McDaniel also attempted to clarify Trump's assertion that there was "blame on both sides"

(CNN)The head of the national Republican Party insisted Wednesday that President Donald Trump "did the right thing" in condemning hate groups and white supremacists, but clearly stated the "blame lays squarely" with those groups for the violence in Charlottesville.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel also said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that such groups "have no place in our party" one day after Trump appeared to draw a moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters, saying that "both sides" were responsible for violence in the Virginia city.
"The President condemned the white supremacists and KKK and neo-Nazis unequivocally," she said. "(Trump) did it, and he should have, and he did. We have no place in our party at all for the KKK, anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry -- it has no place in the Republican Party. There is no home here. We don't want your vote."
    She continued, "When it comes to Charlottesville, the blame lays squarely at the KKK and white supremacists who put together the rally and an entire event around hate and bigotry."
    "You disagree with the President?" host David Muir asked.
    "I'm saying the President did the right thing condemning it. I'm saying absolutely, the events that transpired in Charlottesville were initiated by this white supremacist, KKK rally. It would not have happened if those people had not come together in hate. And there were peaceful protesters who did the right thing coming out against it."
    Muir pressed McDaniel on Trump's campaign pledge that he would be a "unifier" as president.
    "Do you think what he said (Tuesday) unified the American people?" Muir asked.
    "I think condemning white supremacy and the KKK and neo-Nazism was the first step," McDaniel answered.
    McDaniel also attempted to clarify Trump's assertion that there was "blame on both sides" and that "not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch" at the deadly protest.
    "How does the Republican Party defend, then, what the President said yesterday in pointing out there were 'fine people' on both sides, and that both sides should share the blame here?" Muir asked.
    "I do think people may have showed up in Charlottesville thinking, 'Hey, this is going to be a discussion about whether we remove historic statues.' The second they saw Nazi flags, they should have turned tail. The second you join a group that has a Nazi flag or joining the KKK, there is no good there. There is no good KKK member. There's no nice neo-Nazi. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is un-American," McDaniel said.