Frelinghuysen Finally Slams Trump Response To White Supremacists


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Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

It took three tries and almost a week, but Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ11) finally spoke forcefully againstPresident Donald Trump’s statements on the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend, leading to the death of a young counter-protester.

The other legislators who represent Verona in Congress–Sen. Cory Booker and Senator Bob Menendez–where quick to issue condemnations of the racist rally and the killing of Heather Heyer on August 12 and Booker wrote a long post against racism on his personal Facebook page on August 13. Frelinghuysen issued a two-sentenced statement on Monday, which was expanded on Wednesday to a longer statement that still did not mention the Trump Twitter posts and press conference that had tried to create an equivalence between the white supremacists and those who opposed them. “The hatred and violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville must be condemned,” Frelinghuysen wrote Wednesday. “There is no comparison between those on the side of bigotry and hate, and those who manned the barriers to protest them! The views and actions of white supremacists have no place in America.”

Frelinghuysen posted to Twitter on a variety of other subjects through the rest of the week, where he was roundly trolled by people who wanted him to take a stronger position. The legislator, who has served in Congress for 22 years, has come under fire in his most recent term for being a steady supporter of the Trump and GOP agendas.

It took until his Friday email newsletter for Frelinghuysen to finally address Trump’s handling of Charlottesville directly. “I condemn the President’s repeated attempts to evenly distribute blame for clashes between white nationalists and the demonstrators who oppose them,” Frelinghuysen wrote.

“To be clear, the President’s assertion that there were two legitimate ‘sides’ in Charlottesville last weekend is flatly wrong. There can be no comparison – no equivalency – between white supremacists, KKK members and other racist fringe groups and those who showed up to challenge their bigotry, racism and anti-semitism.”

“Rather than employing words that divide us, Donald Trump must recognize that we are one people: the American people.”

You can read Frelinghuysen’s full statement here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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