Wisconsin Lawmakers React to President Trump’s Comments on White Supremacists


MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The latest from The Associated Press on Wisconsin reaction to President Donald Trump’s comments on white supremacists (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

Wisconsin Democrats are seizing on President Donald Trump’s comments about white supremacists to score political points, and call for action, from state Republicans.

Democrat Randy Bryce is running against Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Bryce on Wednesday called for Ryan to initiate procedures to censure Trump after he said that both white supremacists and those opposing them at a Virginia rally share in the blame for violence that broke out there.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, of Milwaukee, went farther saying that Republicans should join with her and work to remove Trump from office.

Fellow Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, of Madison, also raised the specter of impeachment in a statement from his office criticizing the president.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin says Trump “has clearly failed the moral test of seeing right from wrong.”


12:15 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher says President Donald Trump is “failing” in his response to the white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Gallagher is a former Marine and freshman congressman representing northeast Wisconsin. He commented Wednesday when asked about Trump’s comments that “both sides” were to blame for violence at the white supremacists rally on Saturday.

Gallagher says, “The president needs to be crystal clear that hatred has no place in our society, but he is currently failing at it.”

Gallagher says white nationalism and racism are “antithetical to our fundamental values.”

He says those who took part in the rally “could learn from the young Marines of all races and creeds with whom I served in Iraq.”


11:45 a.m.

One of Wisconsin’s top state Republican leaders is strongly denouncing President Donald Trump’s comments that “both sides” are to blame for violence at a white supremacists rally in Virginia.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke told the Wisconsin State Journal on Wednesday that he “completely” disagrees with Trump’s assertion there are “very fine people on both sides.”

Steineke says, “I don’t think it’s possible to be racist and a white nationalist and be a decent human being.” He also says, “There is no place for these kinds of racists in the Republican Party.”

Steineke tells the newspaper “this isn’t the time for moral equivalency” and wishes Trump would “stop rationalizing.”


10:50 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says all white supremacists groups need to be “unilaterally dismissed and denounced.”

Walker made the comment Wednesday following a round table event in Green Bay. He was asked for reaction to President Donald Trump’s comments on Tuesday where he reiterated that “both sides” were to blame for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left a counter-protester dead after a car rammed into the crowd.

Walker says he’s made it “implicitly clear” that he denounces all hate. He says, “I think any of the white supremacists groups or other groups just need to be unilaterally dismissed and denounced.”

Also on Wednesday Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said he did not think Trump was a racist or should be impeached from office, but he was uncomfortable with his comments.


10:05 a.m.

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he is not comfortable by President Donald Trump’s comments that “both sides” are to blame for weekend violence at a white supremacists rally, but adds he does not think Trump is a racist or should be impeached.

Johnson spoke to reporters Wednesday following a speech before the state chamber of commerce.

Johnson says he thinks Trump’s comments are hurting his ability to enact other parts of his agenda, including tax and immigration reform. But Johnson says he does not think the remarks show Trump is unfit for office or should be removed. Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, from Milwaukee, is calling for Trump to be impeached.

Johnson says he wishes Trump would focus on unifying and healing America.


8:17 a.m.

Wisconsin’s top Republicans have been largely silent on President Donald Trump’s defiant blaming of “both sides” for the weekend violence between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators in Virginia.

But at least one Democrat is calling for Trump to be removed from office.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore said Tuesday that Republicans and Democrats should unite and remove Trump from office. Her comments came shortly after Trump voiced support for those in Virginia seeking to maintain the monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that .

Trump ally Republican Gov. Scott Walker hasn’t commented directly on Trump’s remarks. Walker’s only comment came Saturday tweeting that “we should all condemn the violence and hate” at the protest.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted that “white supremacy is repulsive” but did not specifically address Trump.

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