Tillerson says Trump 'speaks for himself' on Charlottesville protests

Posted August 28, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended American values on Sunday after a United Nations panel criticized the official response to racist violence - but conspicuously declined to speak for President Donald Trump.

WALLACE: And the presidents values?

When asked what Trump's values are, Tillerson replied, "The President speaks for himself".

"Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate", Biden wrote.

Mr Trump triggered outrage earlier this month when he suggested both sides were at fault after unrest in Charlottesville in which a woman was killed when a white supremacist drove his vehicle into a group of counter-protestors. But his words are particularly hard-hitting when you consider that they came mere days after economic adviser Gary Cohn said he drafted a resignation letter because he was so upset by Trump's post-Charlottesville remarks.

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In an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pointed out that a United Nations committee criticised Trump's apparent defence of some people at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month.

Despite North Korea's "provocative" firing of three missiles, the US will continue to push for negotiations to deescalate nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday.

A UN panel said on August 25 that it was "disturbed by the failure at the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject and condemn the racist violent events" and urged officials to foster unity and "unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech and racist crimes in Charlottesville and throughout the country".

It is not clear whether Tillerson has raised his concerns directly with Trump, although the two speak frequently and Tillerson met with Trump last week at the White House. The President has been viewed for hundreds of years as the America's representative in world affairs, but what Tillerson was suggesting was that this president only speaks for himself and government agencies, and the American government speak for the American people.

Trump has also ignored Tillerson's advice on some of his most important policy decisions, such as pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord. So we condemn racism, bigotry in all its forms.