WH: Trump 'looks forward' to signing resolution condemning white supremacists

Bipartisan resolution sent to Trump for signature

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump will "absolutely" sign a resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence and white supremacy.

Congress passed the bipartisan joint resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence -- as well as "white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups"-- earlier this week, pushing Trump to sign the resolution explicitly condemning the racist gathering.

The House passed the joint resolution by unanimous consent Tuesday night, a day after the Senate easily approved it.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump "looks forward" to signing the resolution, which comes weeks after Trump faced criticism from both sides of the political aisle for condemning "hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" following the unrest in Virginia, equating the actions of white supremacists with those protesting them.

He also called some of the protesters among the white nationalists "very fine people."

Sen. Tim Scott, a rising star and the most prominent African-American Republican in Congress, met Trump on Wednesday at the White House, in part to talk about the President's response to the violence in Charlottesville.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, the senator planned to offer his personal perspective in the conversation with the President with the goal of convincing him that he needs more personal interaction with people of color.

Sanders, in the White House press briefing following the meeting, said Scott had not expressed displeasure with Trump's response to Charlottesville and said the senator and the President talked "in depth" about race but "primarily focused on solutions moving forward."

The House version of the resolution was introduced by GOP Rep. Tom Garrett, who represents the Charlottesville area, and has the support of Virginia's delegation of seven Republicans and four Democrats.

While it's not uncommon for resolutions to go through the House and the Senate, it's rare that they head to the President for signature. But framing it as a joint resolution ensures it will land on the President's desk.

The resolution honors Heather Heyer -- the Charlottesville victim who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters -- as well as people injured in the incident, and the two Virginia state troopers killed when their helicopter crashed during the protests.

It also called the Charlottesville protests "a domestic terrorist attack," and "urges the President and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy."

It asks the Trump administration to "use all resources available to the president and the president's Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States."

The resolution also urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate acts of violence or terrorism by white nationalists and similar groups.


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