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California Legislature

California Assembly votes to support censure of Trump over comments on Charlottesville violence

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The California Assembly on Friday night voted to support a congressional censure of President Trump for his response to violence that broke out in Charlottesville, Va., during a protest over a Confederate statue.

The Assembly passed a resolution 41 to 5 to denounce comments by the president that seemed to equate white supremacists and neo-Nazis with the protesters demonstrating against them.

Trump said "many sides" were to blame for violence at an Aug. 12 rally where a man plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one of them.

Trump later denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, but repeated that "both sides" were to blame. 

"This isn't about what you think about President Trump," said Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), who authored the resolution. "This is about his statements, his inability to condemn hate, and his failure to act." 

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, introduced a resolution for a congressional censure shortly after Trump's comments. A congressional censure does not remove a president from office, and they are rare.

Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) was the lone Republican to speak out against the resolution to support the censure. He said it wasn't necessary for Assembly members to spend time reiterating that they don't like Trump. 

"Let’s utilize our time on issues that are germane to the state of California," Harper said during the debate. 

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) said the conversation was necessary because racial hatred in the country persists. 

“This is California," she said, "and we refuse to let this come in and infect our state." 

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