US military leaders are distancing themselves from President Donald Trump Trump’s stance on Charlottesville, issuing a roundly rebuke of the deadly violence that unfolded at the white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.
“No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC,” Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, tweeted Tuesday, soon after Trump held a fiery press conference in which he defended his response to the violence. “Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.”
No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017
The US Navy also weighed in. “Events in Charlottesville unacceptable & mustn’t be tolerated @USNavy forever stands against intolerance & hatred,” Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, tweeted.
— Adm. John Richardson (@CNORichardson) August 13, 2017
On Tuesday, the official Twitter account for the 82nd Airborne Division, one of the US Army’s renowned infantry units, addressed an image of a man who wore a hat bearing the division’s emblem while rendering what appeared to be a KKK salute.
The image has been retweeted about 30,000 times since Saturday, and it circulated across military groups in social-media channels.
“Respectfully, anyone who thinks this man represents our culture and values has never worn the maroon beret…and never will,” the 82nd Airborne Division tweeted.
The account added: “Our WWII Airborne forefathers jumped into Europe to defeat Nazism. We know who we are. We know our legacy.”
“Anyone can purchase that hat. Valor is earned,” it said.
The military leaders’ response to Charlottesville stood in contrast to that of Trump, who on Tuesday reiterated the view that “both sides” were at fault for the violence that erupted Saturday.