Updated, 10:45 p.m.: Violence around a planned white nationalist rally in Virginia left three people dead and over a dozen injured Saturday, multiple news outlets reported.
A car plowed into a crowd of people, including counter protesters, in Charlottesville the day of a scheduled “Unite the Right” rally in the city. Members of white nationalist and other far-right groups had planned to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The incident occurred after earlier clashes between rally-goers and counter protesters that led Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency. Police eventually broke up the violence and declared the rally an unlawful assembly before it officially started.
President Donald Trump condemned the violence Saturday afternoon.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” he said from Bedminster, New Jersey. “The hate and the division must stop—and must stop right now.”
Those remarks, as well as an earlier tweet from the president calling for unity, triggered criticism for not pointedly condemning the white supremacists and other far-right groups behind the violence.
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
Republican lawmakers throughout the evening described the crash, which left one woman dead, as domestic terrorism.
Texas senator Ted Cruz called for a Justice Department investigation on that basis.
“I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism,” he said in a statement. “The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate.”
This post originally appeared on Weekly Standard