Chaos ensued when white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va. The already violent demonstrations became deadly after suspect James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, allegedly mowed down counter-protesters with his silver Dodge Challenger. Though President Trump gave a statement on the attack, he did not call it an act of terrorism.
But that didn’t stop a member of is administration from doing so.
National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster told Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the event was in fact terrorism:
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 13, 2017
“I think what terrorism is, is the use of violence to incite terror and fear, and of course it was terrorism,” he explained, saying that the event could be “confidently” given the label.
He also described Saturday’s events as “heartbreaking.”
Many Republicans have also described Saturday’s events as terrorism:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
If you say we have to call radical Islamic terror by its name, you have to also call white supremacist violence by its name #consistency
— Kat Timpf (@KatTimpf) August 13, 2017
I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute today's grotesque act of domestic terrorism.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 13, 2017
According to the National Institute of Justice, terrorism is defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced an FBI civil rights probe into the crash.
Though the president avoided the term ‘terrorism’ in his statements, he called for the American people to unify:
While First Daughter Ivanka Trump also did not call the incident terrorism, she took the extra step to disavow “racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis:”
1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017