Tillerson keeps distance from Trump's race row stance

Tillerson keeps distance from Trump's race row stance

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday became the most recent high-ranking administration official to distance himself from President Trump's remarks after the deadly Virginia protests, saying the president "speaks for himself".

"The president speaks for himself", Tillerson told "Fox News Sunday" when asked if the president represents American values.

In the immediate aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, where several anti-racist counter-demonstrators were injured and one was killed, the US became the subject of widespread worldwide scrutiny and drew criticism from the U.N.'s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The former ExxonMobil CEO appeared on "Fox News Sunday" to highlight "American values" but dismiss Trump's condemnation of "both" sides of the attack.

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Wallace then asked, 'And the president's values?'

"We express american values since the department of State".

Trump initially blamed the violence on "many sides", but amid mounting criticism, he called out white supremacists and hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan specifically a couple of days later.

That surprising statement came after Wallace pointed out that a United Nations committee criticized the USA government for the response to Charlottesville. We represent American values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment to people the world over and that message has never changed.

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A UN panel said on August 25 that it was "disturbed by the failure at the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject and condemn the racist violent events" and urged officials to foster unity and "unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech and racist crimes in Charlottesville and throughout the country".

Last week, White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn ripped his boss in an interview with the Financial Times, calling on Trump to "do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups".

Animosity between the two countries spiked earlier this month after North Korea warned it might fire missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam in response to warlike rhetoric from Donald Trump. "We do view it as a provocative act, a provocative act against the United States and our allies".

The leaders of Britain and Germany had previously said in response to Charlottesville that violence and bigotry must always be condemned.

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