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Local lawmakers speak out against rally in Charlottesville, criticize president’s response

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Members of both political parties tonight are criticizing the president's response to Saturday's violence for not specifically calling out white supremacists.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides," Trump said in a news conference.

Following the president's statements on Saturday many local politicians took to twitter to express their thoughts as well.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill called the display in Virginia "ugly and morally repugnant."

"The hate on display in VA is ugly, and morally repugnant. And it is the essence of anti-American. Shame on them," McCaskill tweeted.

State representative Emanuel Cleaver posted a series of tweets both condemning the violence and expressing disappointment in the president's response.

"Over the past 7 months, in spite of everything to the contrary, I believed that Mr. Trump would adorn the coat of president honorably. When he failed to condemn the white supremacists parading as patriots in Charlottesville, I accepted the reality that what I have been waiting on is something that just won't happen. I'm not going to hate President Trump. I won't place him in the category of the unforgiven. In fact, on this very night, I will pray for him as the Bible requires. However, I must now admit that I just don't like Donald Trump!" Cleaver said in a series of tweets.

Kansas state representative Kevin Yoder tweeted words of prayer for those affected by the violence in Charlottesville.

Yoder also did something many criticized President Trump for failure to do: directly naming the hate groups at the center of these tragic events.

"We as elected officials must stand up and speak out and be very clear and direct that this racism is wrong, that we won't let these bigots and this hatred win and that white supremacy, racism will not be tolerated in this country and that we will stand together unified against those who seek to divide," Yoder said.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Mo. Governor Eric Greitens have yet to weigh in.

The White House scrambled Sunday to elaborate on President Donald Trump's response to deadly, race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, as he came under bipartisan scolding for not clearly condemning white supremacists and other hate groups immediately after the altercations.

As the chorus of criticism grew, White Houses aides were dispatched to the morning news shows, yet they struggled at times to explain the president's position. A new White House statement on Sunday explicitly denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups, but it was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson and not the president himself.

Trump remained out of sight and silent, save for a few retweets. One was about two Virginia state policemen killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the Charlottesville protests, another about a Justice Department probe into the violence.

The White House statement Sunday went further. "The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups." It added: "He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."

The White House did not attach a name to the statement. Usually, a statement would be signed by the press secretary or another staffer; not putting a name to one eliminates an individual's responsibility for its truthfulness and often undercuts its significance.

Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said Sunday that he considered the attack to be terrorism. On Saturday, Trump had not responded to reporters' shouted questions about terrorism.

"I certainly think anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism," McMaster told ABC's "This Week." ''It meets the definition of terrorism. But what this is, what you see here, is you see someone who is a criminal, who is committing a criminal act against fellow Americans."