Editor's note: This story was updated on August 17 to include a comment from U.S. Rep. John Culberson.
Several Texans in Congress said they were troubled by President Donald Trump's response to recent white supremacist-fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Texas Tribune surveyed all 38 Texans in Congress Wednesday, asking if they believed Trump's response to Charlottesville has encouraged the white nationalist movement.
In a press conference Tuesday, Trump blamed “both sides” — criticizing both the “alt-left” groups that he called “very, very violent” and the white nationalists who led a protest that left several injured and one dead.
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“I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now,” Trump said.
Texas Democrats in Congress were outraged, with some calling Trump “unfit” for the presidency: "The president's comments on Charlottesville; his racism and intolerance [goes] back to his first, his maiden speech as a candidate. … Whether it's transgender service members, whether its Muslim-Americans, whether it's this support of white supremacists – all that makes him unfit for office,” U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, told The Texas Tribune.
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of San Antonio was one of the few Texas Republicans who vocally opposed Trump on the matter, saying on CNN, "Nobody should doubt whether or not the leader of the free world is against racism, bigotry, neo-Nazis, and anti-Semitism ... I think it may be good to stick to the teleprompter and not go off the cuff."
Several other Texas Republicans were mute on the matter. Though many have publicly opposed the violence that took place in Charlottesville, they didn’t respond to the Tribune’s request for comment on the president’s response.
"It's tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great Nation with bloodshed,” Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said in a previous statement. “The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.”
We asked every member of the Texas delegation whether they believed Trump's response to Charlottesville has encouraged the white nationalist movement. Here’s what they said:
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