Trump condemns Charlottesville violence, but faces criticism from both sides

President Donald Trump condemned hate “on many sides” in response to violent white nationalist protests and a terror attack Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said during a short statement from his private golf club in New Jersey. “It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

The President did not mention white nationalists and the alt-right movement in his remarks, and later called for a “study” of the “situation.”

At least one person was killed and 19 injured when a speeding car slammed into another car that was navigating through a throng of counterprotesters, according to a statement released on the City of Charlottesville’s verified Twitter account.

Trump offered condolences to the family of the woman killed in the crash and those who were injured.

“Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!” he tweeted.

Trump billed the event in which he made the remarks on Saturday as a press conference but failed to take any questions. Reporters attempted to ask the President whether he condemns white nationalists or if he considers the car slamming into counterprotesters terrorism. Trump, in the past, has been quick to label foreign events terrorism and has slammed fellow politicians for not quickly labeling attacks as terrorism.

At one point the President also touted economic improvements, saying the nation’s unemployment rate was the lowest in 17 years. Trump said he was dismayed by the violence: “We have so many incredible things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it is very, very sad.”

Trump closed his remarks on Charlottesville urging people to remember “no matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first.”

“We love our country, we love our God, we love our flag, we are proud of our country, we are proud of who we are,” he said. “So, we want to get this situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it, and we want to see what we are doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”

Asked what Trump meant by saying “on many sides,” a White House official also pointed a finger at the counterprotesters.

“The President was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counterprotesters today,” the official said.

Demonstrators clashed on the streets of Charlottesville on Saturday morning ahead of a white nationalist rally, with counter-protesters and right-wing nationalist groups converging on the college town in the latest chapter in the United States’ debate over race and identity.

The protests were precipitated by the city’s government deciding to remove symbols of its confederate past, including a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Similar protests happened in May when New Orleans officials decided to remove confederate statues.

Response criticized by both sides

Democrats and Republicans alike slammed Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, arguing the President’s statement lacked “the absolute moral clarity that we need from the President of the United states at times like this,” as Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, said.

Trump’s fellow Republican politicians also slammed the President.

“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” tweeted Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who ran for president against Trump in 2016, tweeted, “very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted simply: “There is only one side. #charlottesville.”

The White House said Saturday that it was in touch with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office and that White House homeland security adviser Thomas Bossert’s team has been in touch with local authorities.

Before his on-camera statement, Trump, who is on his 17-day vacation in New Jersey, urged people to “come together as one” in response to the protests but did not explicitly mention the white nationalist origins of the conflict.

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” he wrote on Twitter. “There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

Trump, who also signed a Veterans Affairs health care bill Saturday afternoon, later tweeted: “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”

Vice President Mike Pence joined Trump in strongly condemning the protests.

“I stand with @POTUS against hate & violence,” he tweeted. “U.S is greatest when we join together & oppose those seeking to divide us. #Charlottesville.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also condemned the violence, saying it “is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated.”

Sessions said he had been in contact with Department of Justice agents assisting at the scene and state officials.

“We will continue to support our state and local officers on the ground in any way possible,” he said. “We stand united behind the President in condemning the violence in Charlottesville and any message of hate and intolerance.”

First lady Melania Trump was the first White House occupant to respond to the violence, tweeting 45 minutes before her husband that “our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence.”

Trump’s working vacation at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey has so far been consumed by roiling tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Trump’s time away from the White House has been anything but calm, with the President consistently responding to threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has threatened to launch missiles near the US territory of Guam.

White nationalist groups who have come to be known at the “alt-right” drafted off Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and rose to national prominence by tying themselves to Trump’s message.

On Saturday in Virginia, according to a video posted on Twitter by a photojournalist from The Indianapolis Star, David Duke — a prominent former Ku Klux Klan leader who ran for Senate in Louisiana in 2016 — tied the protests in Virginia to Trump.

“This represents a turning point for the people of this country,” Duke said. “We are determined to take this country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

Duke slammed Trump’s response to the protests on Saturday, tweeting that Trump should “take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”

“So, after decades of White Americans being targeted for discriminated & anti-White hatred, we come together as a people, and you attack us,” Duke wrote.

Trump drew flack from critics and Democrats during the campaign for not fulsomely disavowing the alt-right and white supremacists.

After the election, in a November 2016 interview with The New York Times, Trump disavowed the movement and said he did not intend to energize the group.

“I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group,” Trump told a group of Times reporters and columnists during a meeting at the newspaper’s headquarters in New York.

He added: “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

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Trump condemns ‘hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides’ in Charlottesville

President Donald Trump condemned hate “on many sides” in response to violent white nationalist protests and a terror attack Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.”We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and …

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China targets social media giants over ‘rumors,’ ‘porn’

Some of China’s biggest tech companies are in trouble with the country’s powerful internet regulator over activity on their social media platforms.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said it’s investigating Tencent, the owner of the country’s biggest messaging app; Baidu, the dominant Chinese search engine; and Weibo, the leading Twitter-like microblog service.

Shares of Tencent, a $380 billion company, plunged nearly 5% in Hong Kong after the announcement Friday. Baidu and Weibo are listed in the U.S.

Users of Weibo, Tencent’s WeChat and Baidu’s Tieba are believed to have “spread information of violence and terror, false rumors, pornography and other information that jeopardizes national security, public safety and social order,” the internet regulator said in a statement.

That means the companies are suspected of violating the country’s strict cybersecurity rules. “They did not fulfill duties to manage illegal information uploaded by their users,” the statement said.

Spokespeople for Tencent, Baidu and Weibo didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

While big American social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are shut out of China’s huge market, the investigation shows the challenges domestic firms face in authoritarian China.

The probe is the latest in a series of recent moves by Beijing to tighten its control of online information.

The government runs a huge apparatus of internet filters known as the Great Firewall, which it uses to censor content that it deems harmful. This year, it has cracked down on tools that enable users to skirt the defenses.

Censors also aggressively police what users share on social media, blocking and deleting posts that mention sensitive terms. People who cross the line can face suspension of their accounts or even arrest.

— Serenitie Wang contributed to this report.

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Iguana clogs toilet in Medley warehouse

Toilet clogs are usually an easy fix. A plunger or Drano often does the trick.

But Oscar Tabares faced a situation that was a bit more complicated than that when he discovered an iguana was the cause of the clog in a bathroom toilet.

Tabares told Local 10 News that he was using the bathroom in his family’s Medley warehouse last Wednesday when he noticed that the toilet wasn’t flushing very well and there was water leaking from under the bowl.

First, he used a plunger to try to unclog the toilet, to no avail. When the problem persisted, Tabares enlisted the help of his family to remove the toilet.

Tabares said when he looked down the drain pipe, he saw the head of an iguana peering up at him.

Cellphone video that Tabares sent to Local 10 News showed his uncle removing the iguana from the drain using a long strand of rope tied to a piece of wood.

Tabares said his uncle walked the iguana as if it was a pet on a leash and safely released the large lizard behind the warehouse.

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Top cybersecurity firm targeted by hackers

Cybersecurity firms are paid to protect their clients from hackers. But what happens when they’re the target?

U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant confirmed Monday that one of its analyst’s social media accounts had been compromised in an attack.

It was not immediately clear if internal networks belonging to Mandiant or its parent company FireEye had also been infiltrated.

“We immediately began investigating this situation, and took steps to limit further exposure,” Mandiant said in a statement. “Our investigation continues, but thus far it, we have found no evidence FireEye or Mandiant systems were compromised.”

An anonymous message posted online claimed that the analyst’s passwords, billing address, Amazon account and LinkedIn profile had been compromised. The hackers also claimed to have accessed Mandiant’s internal systems, but provided no evidence.

“Let’s go after everything they’ve got, let’s go after their countries, let’s trash their reputation in the field,” the post said of cybersecurity analysts. It called on other hackers to join its #LeakTheAnalyst operation.

FireEye shares dropped 3% on Monday.

Rustam Mirkasymov, a cyber threat intelligence expert at Group IB, said the attack was “very bad for the cybersecurity community.”

“This incident reveals that sometimes professionals who work in cybersecurity don’t pay enough attention to their own security,” he said.

Mirkasymov said it didn’t appear that any internal Mandiant or FireEye data was compromised based on the information posted online.

Mandiant, which was purchased by FireEye for $1 billion in 2014, tackles high-profile hacks and has worked for companies including Sony, Target and Home Depot.

Mandiant clients include financial firms, government agencies, universities and medical centers. The company says it has worked with Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry and the Texas Children’s Hospital, for example.

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Twitter is now losing users in US

So much for the Trump bump.

Despite having the most powerful person in the world as a loyal user, Twitter failed to add any new monthly active users globally during the June quarter. Even worse, it’s now losing users in the U.S.

Twitter reported Thursday that its monthly user base in the U.S. declined to 68 million in the most recent quarter from 70 million in the previous quarter.

Its global user base was 328 million, unchanged from the prior quarter. Analysts had been expecting Twitter to add at least a few million users.

Twitter’s stock collapsed as much as 9% in pre-market trading Thursday following the earnings report. The stock had been on the rebound in recent months after Twitter posted surprisingly strong user growth in the first quarter.

In a letter to shareholders, Twitter said whatever “positive contributions” there were to user growth this quarter from making tweaks to the product were “offset… by lower seasonal benefits and other factors.”

The report spells trouble for President Trump’s favorite social network.

Twitter has been struggling to win more advertising dollars in the face of lackluster user growth. In the most recent quarter, the company’s revenue fell 5% from the same period a year earlier.

If Twitter can’t grow its user base at all, it will have an even harder time trying to grow its sales.

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