Tags: Charlottesville | Donald Trump | Trump Administration | mike pence | defends | donald trump | charlottesville

Pence Defends Trump on Charlottesville: 'I Know His Heart'

NBC's "Today"

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2017 09:33 AM

Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday defended President Donald Trump's responses to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month, saying that he knows the president and "his heart."

"I heard him on the day that the Charlottesville tragedy happened when he denounced hate and violence in all of its forms from wherever it comes," Pence told NBC "Today" show host Matt Lauer. "I heard him on that Monday, and I heard him as well on Tuesday like millions of Americans, did where he condemned the hate and the bigotry that was evidenced there. He condemned the violence that was there and we'll continue to do that."

Further, Pence said, the administration understands that "criticism comes with the job," but Trump "has the kind of broad shoulders to be able to take it."

Pence also denied to Lauer that Trump had equated the two sides protesting in Charlottesville, and insisted that both he and Trump have denounced hate groups involved in the violence, including neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and the KKK.

The vice-president, also appearing on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday, told co-host Ainsley Earhardt, after she asked him about how he feels when "mainstream media" asks him about a tweet the president made "a week-and-a-half ago," repeated that "criticism comes with the job."

"The president couldn't have been more clear since that terrible day in Charlottesville," said Pence, noting that on that day, "we condemned bigotry and hate and violence in all its forms."

But on Tuesday, Trump said the nation is stronger when it's united, and that in a patriot's heart "there is no room for bigotry," Pence continued. "It was words he first spoke before the Congress in his joint address to the Congress earlier this year. They are words that I hear him speak all the time."

Pence said he also agrees with Trump on Confederate monuments, that "seeing people destroy public property in the name of any cause is just simply unacceptable."

Instead, Pence said he believes it's important for the nation to remember its past and build on the progress that is made, and when it comes to monuments, it should be a local decision what to do about them.

"I'm someone who believes in more monuments, not less monuments," said Pence. "What we ought to do is remember our history. We ought to celebrate the progress that we have made since that history."

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Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday defended President Donald Trump's responses to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month, saying that he knows the president and "his heart."
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017 09:33 AM
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