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Politics and Government

Tenney talks about, then won't talk about, Trump's comments on Charlottesville

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), right, at an event at the Broome County airport Wednesday

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) visited Binghamton Wednesday, but refused to talk to reporters about President Trump’s comments on Charlottesville.

Earlier in the day Wednesday, Tenney did talk about the attacks in a phone call to WUTQ in Utica.

"I condemned it immediately and I was criticized for not condemning it hard enough,” she said. “But I think what the president is trying to say is, that there's fault to be found on both sides. And I think that there is fault to be found on both sides. I don't know all the details of Charlottesville. I was away and I'm just capturing what I can on the Internet. The tragedy of this poor girl getting killed and plowed down, it’s just horrible. It's just hard to believe this is happening in modern society."

She called the president’s comments “inartful.”

But by the time she got to the Broome County airport for an event Wednesday afternoon, she did not want to talk about it.

"We can discuss it some other time," she said. "We’re trying to highlight the airport and the needs to the people in Broome County, not tracking the president."

Nationally, politicians from the right and left are criticizing President Trump for his comments that both sides deserve responsibility for the events in Charlottesville.

They've said there’s no equivalence between the Neo-Nazis who planned the event and the people who rallied against them.

Late Wednesday, Tenney released a statement.

As someone who worked closely alongside the Jewish Community Center in Utica to resettle Bosnian refugees who were victims of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, it is unconscionable to me that anyone in modern day America could display such hatred, violence and racism toward their fellowman. On Saturday, I immediately condemned in the strongest terms possible this tragic display of white supremacy and called on Americans to join together to condemn these acts of intolerance and bigotry, which have no place in our society or our political discourse. I urge the President to continue to denounce white supremacy, racism and intolerance and work to promote an atmosphere of unity in our nation during this troubling time.

Rep. John Katko (Camillus) also released a statment Wednesday on Trump's comments.

As I stated this weekend, and reiterated yesterday, there is absolutely no place in public discourse for racism, bigotry, or white supremacy. President Trump should outright condemn these words and actions, under all circumstances.