The White House released a statement Sunday that specifically condemned extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, though the comments were attributed to an unnamed spokesperson and not the president himself. "He totally opposes those kinds of values", Sessions said.
"They are going to find out we are going to come after them for any violations of the law", he stated.
On Saturday, a 20-year-old man plowed a vehicle into a group of anti-hate demonstrators protesting against a white supremacist rally, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring several others. The photograph is a testament to the callousness of the crime Fields's has been accused of-a persistent reminder that, as white nationalists continue to falsely claim the neutrality of history in public spaces, that those very public spaces have never been neither safe nor neutral for a vast majority of citizens. Reports soon surfaced that Trump was considering firing Sessions, once one of his closest allies.
Neo-Nazi news site "The Daily Stormer" wrote that Trump's vague "many sides" statement was a sign of support for their cause. "The right and professional thing to do is work together and to make an honest and objective decision about whether the right place is to bring the case".
Sessions - who himself has been heavily criticized for his calls to intensify the war on drugs and for prosecutors to seek the harshest prison sentences available to them - defended Trump's response on Monday, but also said Fields' alleged crimes fit the definition of domestic terrorism.
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He will also meet with Mr Sessions and new FBI Director Christopher Wray about Charlottesville before heading to Trump Tower in NY.
"You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack", Sessions added.
In an appearance Saturday at his golf resort in New Jersey, Trump had faulted "many sides" for the violence but made no specific mention of the white extremists involved in the melee, some of whom wore Trump hats and T-shirts.
In the hours after the incident, Trump addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying that he condemns "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides". "And often they're the ones that have the best charges".
"Mr President - we must call evil by its name", said Republican Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "[Trump] explicitly condemned the kind of ideology behind these kinds of movements of Nazism, of white supremacy, of the KKK, that is his unequivocal position".