US Vice President Mike Pence says he will “stand with” US President Donald Trump in blaming the violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on “both sides.”
“What happened in Charlottesville was a tragedy, and the president has been clear on this tragedy and so have I,” Pence, who was on a visit to Chile, told reporters on Wednesday. “I spoke at length about this heartbreaking situation on Sunday night in Colombia, and I stand with the president and I stand by those words.”
A man with ties to right-wing groups drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Sunday, killing a young woman and injuring some 20 other people.
Heather Heyer, 32, was killed by a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer, identified as James Alex Fields Jr, who was said to have been behind the wheel.
Trump’s failure to immediately condemn the incident as a domestic terrorist attack has drawn criticism against his administration, in which white supremacists are among the top aides of the commander in chief.
"Our hearts are in Charlottesville," said the vice president, who is cutting short his South American trip and returning to the US ahead of schedule on Thursday.
Captured on video and shared on the internet, the moment the car plowed into the crowd taking part in a counter-protest against white nationalists, shocked the nation.
The president is, meanwhile, pointing the finger at the leftists over the incident, citing their efforts to charge the alt-right.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the alt-right?” Trump asked at an impromptu press conference at Trump Tower. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”