President Trump praised the bravery of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer on Wednesday as her family holds a memorial service for her, three days after she was killed during riots at a nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Heyer was killed when an activist rammed his car into a crowd of people protesting the rally.
“Memorial service today for beautiful and incredible Heather Heyer, a truly special young woman,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “She will be long remembered by all!”
The driver of the vehicle, James Alex Fields Jr., who was videotaped attending the rally, has a history of violence and was charged with second-degree murder. He has been denied bail.
Trump said on Tuesday he has yet to reach out to Heyer’s family but that it is in his plans.
“I will be reaching out,” he said.
He deplored Fields Jr., calling him a “murderer,” and saying what he did was a “horrible, horrible inexcusable thing.” He also referenced the statement released by Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, thanking the president for his kind words on Monday.
“I thought that the statement put out … the mother’s statement, I thought was a beautiful statement,” he said. “I’ll tell you — it was something that I really appreciated. I thought it was terrific.”
Trump has been battling criticism all week following his comment on the incident this weekend in which he said “many sides” were to blame.
Vice President Pence came to his defense: “I take issue with the fact that many in the national media spent more time criticizing the president’s words than they did criticizing those that perpetuated the violence to begin with. We should be putting the attention where it belongs, and that is on those extremist groups that need to be pushed out of the public debate entirely and discredited for the hate groups and dangerous fringe groups that they are,” Pence said.
Memorial service today for beautiful and incredible Heather Heyer, a truly special young woman. She will be long remembered by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
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