- Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan: "We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity."
- Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida: "Blaming 'both sides' for #Charlottesville?! No. Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no."
- Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio: "We must speak out clearly against the hatred, racism and white supremacists who descended upon #Charlottesville."
- Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas: "White supremacy, bigotry & racism have absolutely no place in our society & no one - especially POTUS - should ever tolerate it."
- Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii: "As a Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment. This is not my President."
- Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts: "The President of the United States just defended neo-Nazis and blamed those who condemn their racism and hate. This is sick."
- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California: "There is only one side to be on when a white supremacist mob brutalizes and murders in America. The American people deserve a president who understands that."
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York: "By saying he is not taking sides, Donald Trump clearly is. When David Duke and white supremacists cheer your remarks, you're doing it very very wrong."
- Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia: "Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community. This was not 'both sides.'"
Figures from the worlds of entertainment and sports also weighed in on the president's comments.
"Hate has always existed in America," NBA star LeBron James tweeted. "Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!"
Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 15, 2017
I haven't seen anything that crazy since Tyson bit Holyfield @realDonaldTrump— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) August 15, 2017
The White House these days. So full of sound and führer.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 15, 2017
In Southern California, opinion was similarly heated.
Gregory Brittain, an attorney and member of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, said the president's comments are being portrayed inaccurately in the media.
"From the minute it happened, most of the media outlets were running the narrative of 'Aha see, we told you so. President Trump and his supporters are a bunch of racists.' Which is not true. No matter what he said that was going to be the narrative."
Author and commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson said Trump missed an opportunity to exert leadership.
"He didn't really take the leadership, take the initiaitive and denounce hate and hatemongers like he should have initially," Hutchinson said. "Then only under massive pressure did he issue another statement seeming to name some names. Then in the next breath he took it back. What Trump are we to believe?"