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Fung and Avedisian Speak Out on Trump, GOP Chair Bell Refuses to Comment

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Trump's Press Conference on August 15 at Trump Tower

President Donald Trump's comments on Tuesday regarding the events of Charlottesville drew blistering criticism from Republicans across the country - and from Rhode Island's two most prominent GOP elected officials, but not by the RI GOP. 

On Monday, Trump had given comments condemning the white supremacist protesters, which received begrudging acknowledgment being made days after the incidents --  but on Tuesday, Trump reversed course and called some of the Nazi and KKK members "very fine people."

RI GOP Chair Brandon Bell has refused to answer questions on Trump's comments. 

Bell is seeking an appointment by the Trump White House to serve as U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, according to an article in the Providence Journal published in the spring.

Under Bell the Republican party had a disappointing 2016 election cycle. Presently, there are no Republicans in the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, and all five state offices are held by Democrats. No Republican has won statewide office in Rhode Island since 2006.

Latest from Trump

Trump on Tuesday said at a press conference, “And you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

Trump continued the press conference, “Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee. So — excuse me — and you take a look at some of the groups and you see and you would know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases, you are not. But, many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.”

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian

Avedisian and Fung Speakout

While Bell continuously refuses to comment on Trump’s comments, Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung told GoLocal, “The past weekend has ripped open so many wounds for our country. Quite simply, we are all better than this insanity and violence."

"As a minority, I've seen my share of subtle and not so subtle racism over the years," said Fung. "It's incumbent on those of us in the minority community to work harder, and by our consistent actions over months and years, truly change stereotypes.  Hashtags and vigils are not enough.”

Similarly, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian said to GoLocal, “I thought yesterday's (Monday) comments from the President was appropriate and on point. To see a reversal one day later is not helpful. And I think that Speaker Ryan is correct to say that bigotry is repulsive.”

Across the Country - GOP Leaders Speak Out





GOP Chair Brandon Bell

“We are looking towards leaders to make sense of the non-sensical and to give us reassurance that what was on display this past weekend isn't who we really are as Americans.  Personally acting with kindness and empathy towards all of our neighbors, is more powerful than any decree from hundreds of miles away,” said Fung.  

At the press event at the Trump Tower, President Trump defended some of those that attended the white supremacist's event...Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis. And you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.”


Related Slideshow: Tweets of Charlottesville

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President Donald Trump

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Hillary Clinton

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Governor McAuliffe

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David Duke

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Governor Raimondo

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Melania Trump

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Senator McConnell

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Min. Leader Pelosi

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Senator Sanders


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