Sen. Kaine: Charlottesville is evidence of President Trump ‘stoking’ racial division

WASHINGTON – Virginia Senator Tim Kaine appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning, one year after the deadly Charlottesville protest.

Click here for our full coverage on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville protest

In a conversation with moderator Margaret Brennan, Sen. Kaine spoke about the ways in which Americans have stood up to hate and committed themselves to ensuring equality for all people.

“Charlottesville was a shock,” he said. “And what I think it has created is an energy of people of goodwill standing up and saying, ‘There will not be hate. Hate will not define who we are. We’re on a path to progress and we’re going to stay there.'”

After last year’s rally and subsequent counterprotest, President Donald Trump was criticized by many, including Kaine, for blaming “both sides” for the violence. Kaine said while President Trump didn’t create racial division, he “stoked” them.

“There is a concerted effort that he has been engaged in to divide people, including dividing people based on race. And nowhere was that more obvious nowhere than in the aftermath of Charlottesville,” he said.

When asked if he believes President Trump is a racist, Kaine said he doesn’t know him well enough to come to that conclusion.

“I have no idea about who he is as a person. So whether it’s a sincere feeling, or whether he thinks it gets him some political edge, or…again, I don’t know the answer.”

Saturday night, students and activists gathered on the University of Virginia campus – the site of the white supremacist Unite the Right rally – to hold a series of demonstrations to commemorate the year anniversary. The next day, a counterprotest resulted in the deaths of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, Virginia State Police Trooper Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen III and Virginia State Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

A second “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled for Sunday evening in Washington, D.C. Organizers say its purpose is to protest the “civil rights abuse in Charlottesville.”

Watch Sen. Kaine’s full Face the Nation interview above.

Click here for our full coverage on the Charlottesville protest