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politics

Molinaro Takes Issue With Trump's Charlottesville Comments

Clockwise: Rob Astorino, Marc Molinaro, MaryEllen Odell and Ed Day.
Clockwise: Rob Astorino, Marc Molinaro, MaryEllen Odell and Ed Day. Photo Credit: File

This story has been updated with statements from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro:

As the controversy continues to swirl over President Donald Trump's Tuesday press conference in which he doubled down after initially placing blame for Saturday's deadly Neo-Nazi protest in Virginia on "both sides," two of the area's Republican county executives have taken issue with Trump's comments.

Three of the Hudson Valley's Republican county executives issued statements condemning the violence in Charlottesville last weekend.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino tweeted on Monday that white supremacism has no place in America.

"We stand together against virulent hatred and political violence," Astorino said.

Astorino said he disagreed with how President Trump handled Charlottesville.

"There is no equivocation when it comes to racism. Period," Astorino said. "What he should be focusing on is where his strengths are, and that is on jobs and the economy, but he needs to get better at articulating a clear message that inspires people to come together and heal."

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has not made any public statements on the events in Charlottesville and her office did not respond to an email.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro hosted a community gathering in Poughkeepsie Wednesday night called 100 Cups of Coffee: Coming Together After Charlottesville, which his office said was "engaging and productive."

Molinaro visited Charlottesville to show support during a trip to his wife’s family in Richmond, Va., last weekend and said the bigotry, racism, and violence exhibit the worst of humanity.

After saying Trump's statement the day of the protest was not sufficient, Molinaro told the Daily Freeman after Tuesday's Trump Tower press conference that “whether it’s a president or any American, we have to call it for what it is and what it was. It is evil, it is hatred, it is un-American, and what occurred in Charlottesville was a homegrown terrorist attack on American principles."

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said he watched the events in Charlottesville with "shock and revulsion."

"Hate has no place in Virginia or Rockland County or anywhere in our great nation," Day said. "White supremacists, white nationalists, Nazis, neo-Nazis, and all other hate groups are not welcome in our community. My father and my three uncles fought the Nazis in World War II. Let’s not forget where blind hatred took the world during that dark era in history."

Day's office declined to comment on the Trump statements at Trump Tower.

"We issued an initial statement and we have nothing else," Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications for Day, said.

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