Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Sunday distanced himself - and the nation - from President Trump's response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. implying it's out of step with American ideals.
Speaking to Fox News host Chris Wallace, Mr. Tillerson said that that the State Department cherishes American values.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responds to the strongly worded statement from the United Nations condemning the Trump administration for "failure at the highest political level to unequivocally reject and condemn the racist violent events and demonstrations".
Tillerson was asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether he thought Trump was expressing American values of tolerance and equality in his handling of racially tinged violence during a white-supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.
WALLACE: And the presidents values? "We represent the American people, we represent America's values".
The Aug. 13 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, began as a rally organized by white supremacists and turned deadly when a counter-protester was run down by a vehicle. But his words are particularly hard-hitting when you consider that they came mere days after economic adviser Gary Cohn said he drafted a resignation letter because he was so upset by Trump's post-Charlottesville remarks.
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Mr Trump has repeatedly complained that China is not helping the USA rein in North Korea, and Mr Tillerson has said "China and Russian Federation bear unique and special responsibility" for North Korea's "growing threat to regional and global stability".
In that speech August 18 in Washington, D.C., Tillerson said, "We do not honor nor do we promote or accept hate speech in any form and those who embrace it poison our public discourse and damage the very country that they proclaim to love".
"I've made my own comments in a speech at the department of State", he slipped.
Despite North Korea's "provocative" firing of three missiles, the US will continue to push for negotiations to deescalate nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday. "Those who embrace it poison our public discourse, and they damage the very country that they claim to love".
The leaders of Britain and Germany had previously said in response to Charlottesville that violence and bigotry must always be condemned.