President Trump addresses violence in Charlottesville protests

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BEDMINSTER, N. J. (NBC) - President Trump is condemning the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The president spoke at a previously scheduled event to sign a spending bill for veterans affairs.

Mr. Trump did not denounce any particular group, saying there is hatred on many sides.

"We're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. On many sides. It's been going on a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.

"No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time.

"I just got off the phone with the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and we agree that the hate and division must stop and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation, and true affection.. and really I say this so strongly.. true affection for each other.

"We have so many incredible things happening in our country so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it's very very sad. I want to salute the great work of the state and local police in Virginia. Incredible people. Law enforcement, incredible people. And also the National Guard, they've really been working smart and working hard. They've been doing a terrific job. Federal authorities are also providing tremendous support for the governor, he thanked me for that, and we are here to provide whatever assistance is needed. We are ready, willing and able.

"Above all else, we must remember this truth: 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're proud of our country. We're proud of who we are.
So, we want to get this situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it and we want to see what we're going wrong as a country where things like this can happen.

"We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other. Ideally, we have to love each other."