Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Pingree has signed onto resolution to censure President Trump for Charlottesville response

Aug 17, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today signed on to a resolution that will censure President Trump for failing to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia and employing people in the White House with ties to white nationalist movements. The resolution also calls for the President to fire any and all advisors who have urged him to cater to white supremacist groups in the United States. The resolution introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) is still open to House cosponsors.
 
“From the White House to the State House, elected leaders must acknowledge and denounce the violence in Charlottesville as an act of domestic terrorism by white nationalists. To call it anything else is an injustice to those who confront bigotry every day and those who lost their lives in Virginia last weekend,” said Congresswoman Pingree. ”Thousands of Mainers have called, written, or commented online saying they are disgusted that President Trump is unwilling to disavow white nationalists. I share their views and believe that there must be consequences for this type of reckless rhetoric from elected officials.”

Resolution Text

Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump.

115th CONGRESS
1st Session
August 18, 2017

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. NADLER, Ms. WATSON COLEMAN, and Ms. PRAMILA JAYAPAL submitted the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on _______;

RESOLUTION

Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump.
 
Whereas on August 11, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a gathering of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis, Klu Klux Klan (KKK) members, and other alt-Right, white nationalist groups, marched through the streets with torches as part of a coordinated ‘Unite the Right’ rally spewing racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred;
 
Whereas on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car driven by James Alex Fields, Jr. rammed into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 20 others;
 
Whereas President Donald Trump’s immediate public comments rebuked “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and failed to specifically condemn the ‘Unite the Right’ rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism;
 
Whereas on August 15, 2017 President Donald Trump held a press conference at Trump Tower where he re-asserted that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and attempted to create a moral equivalency between white supremacist, KKK, neo-Nazi groups and those counter-protesting the ‘Unite the Right’ rally;
 
Whereas President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, alt-Right, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country;
 
Whereas President Donald Trump has provided tacit encouragement and little to no denunciation of white supremacist groups and individuals who promote their bigoted, nationalist ideology and policies;
 
Whereas President Donald Trump has failed to provide adequate condemnation and assure the American people of his resolve to opposing domestic terrorism: Now, therefore, be it
 
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

  1. does hereby censure and condemn President Donald Trump for his inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, his failure to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism, for re-asserting that “both sides” were to blame and excusing the violent behavior of participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally, and for employing people with ties to white supremacist movements in the White House, such as Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka; and
  2. does hereby urge President Donald Trump to fire any and all White House advisors who have urged him to cater to the alt-Right movement in the United States.

Background

As the events in Charlottesville unfolded last Saturday, Congresswoman Pingree tweeted out a condemnation of the white supremacists engaged in domestic terrorism in Virginia and called on President Trump to do the same
 
On Sunday, Pingree issued another statement and posted a message on social media along with a video. Her statement read:
 
Shortly after President Trump's inauguration, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) circulated fliers throughout Maine in order to recruit members and intimidate our communities. The KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists have been emboldened by political rhetoric that harkens back to an America where minorities, women, gay people, and the poor did not have rights or a seat at the table. The horrific resurgence of hate in Charlottesville over the weekend feels like 1968, not 2017. Today, three people are dead and more than a dozen are injured for upholding the values of America in the 21st Century—where equality is our common goal and hate has no place.
 
I am sorry that I cannot be a part of the vigils happening across Maine tonight because I am traveling with Congressional colleagues overseas. However, I am so grateful to Mainers, from Portland to Bangor, who are coming together in the face of this horrible act this evening. Elected leaders must call the violence in Virginia what it is: domestic terrorism by white nationalists. To call it anything else is an injustice to those who lost their lives yesterday and those who confront bigotry every single day. The fight for equality isn’t over, and we cannot go backward. Thank you all for organizing peacefully tonight. I wish I was able to be there with you.
 
On Monday, after President Trump stated the violence in Charlottesville was the fault of white supremacists, Pingree tweeted:

Leadership is not only saying the right thing but at the right time. ‪@potus statement on ‪#charlottesville welcome but too late.

On Tuesday night, following a demoralizing press conference by President Trump wherein he equated activists standing up to racism with members of the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists, Pingree issued this statement:

Just days after violence in Charlottesville sent shockwaves throughout our country and inspired vigils across Maine, the President went on TV and defended neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. His statements today aren't just words, they are tacit statements of support. This type of speech incites hate and all too often leads to violence. It generates a fear that extends to our streets, our homes, our families, and to our future. It's reckless for him to fan the flames of violent hate groups. With nine more rallies planned by white supremacists this weekend, President Trump must denounce these groups and the hate they are trying to spread across our nation.

Yesterday, Pingree also signed on to a resolution with 31 other House members condemning the bigotry in Charlottesville and calling on President Trump to fire the white supremacists in the White House.