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‘You’re their leader’: Charlottesville vice-mayor calls out Trump’s silence on white supremacists

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Charlottesville, VA’s Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday that his community has rallied in solidarity against the hateful white supremacist and neo-Nazi elements that turned the city until a battle zone on Saturday and killed an anti-racist counter-protester.

“They can continue to come, but our community will not break,” said Bellamy, should white supremacists “under the guidance of their president, number 45” decide to return to Charlottesville, the people will not stand for it.

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“The people here of Charlottesville,” he continued, “white people, black people, yellow people, old people, young people, we’re a community that rallies around together. This is a community that I saw pick me up on my darkest and deepest moments to encourage me — and they’ve done the same for other people. We’re a resilient group.”

He went on to say that President Donald Trump has not condemned white supremacists in sufficiently unequivocally and called on Trump to speak out.

“So 45, we’re looking for your leadership,” Bellamy said. “Condemn that white supremacist attacks. Condemn these domestic terrorists. Tell them to leave. You’re their leader. Stand up.”

He went on to say that white supremacists and neo-Nazis are seizing on the issue of the Robert E. Lee statue as a ruse.

“We cannot be a city of equity, inclusion and equality with a 28-foot statue of a person who, if he was alive and I was in this position right now would probably want me beaten, who wouldn’t want to look him in the eye. I’ve been told from all these people that they want to hang me from a tree and they’re gonna do this and that. In my opinion, that statue needs removed.”

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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