DHS Sec. Nielsen Echoes Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks: ‘It’s Not That One Side Was Right’

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen echoed President Donald Trump’s infamous “both sides” explanation of white supremacist violence at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, as she told a crowd at the Aspen Security Forum that neither side “was right.”

“Whether it was foreign influence or different purposeful attempts to get both sides, if you will, aggressively pitted against each other,” the secretary said today. “I think that what I see DHS’ role… We have to work with everyone to help communities understand what are the warning signs, what are the ways in which we can prepare. And that’s no matter who it is.”

“It’s not that one side was right and one side was wrong,” Nielsen said — just a month from the anniversary of last year’s racist demonstration that resulted in the killing of one anti-racist protesters by a white supremacist. “Anyone who is advocating violence we need to work to mitigate.”

Of course, Nielsen’s refusal to specifically condemn bigotry sounds similar to Trump claiming there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protests — even though one side contained only people aligned with white supremacy.
Nielsen was quickly called out by pundits and journalists for her thoughts on the issue:

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