Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday became the most recent high-ranking administration official to distance himself from President Trump’s remarks after the deadly Virginia protests, saying the president "speaks for himself.”
Tillerson's comment on “Fox News Sunday" follows Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser and the director of the National Economic Council, saying in a Financial Times interview published last week that the administration “can and must do better” in condemning hate groups.
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 car.
Trump, in the aftermath, denounced neo-Nazis and the KKK, but his argument that “both sides” in the violent protests were to blame has brought widespread criticism.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said after the Cohn interview was published that nobody “was surprised” by his comments.
Tillerson on Sunday also said Sebastian Gorka was “completely wrong” in his criticism of Trump’s recent Afghanistan speech because it did not include the words “radical Islam” when referring to U.S. efforts to rid the country of terror groups like ISIS.
The White House on Friday announced that Gorka was no longer a White House aide.
"It shows (Gorka’s) lack of understanding of the president's broader policy when it comes to protecting Americans at home and abroad from all acts of terrorism," Tillerson said.