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Secretary of State says Trump doesn't speak for American values

28 August 2017

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".

"I don't believe anyone doubts America's values", Tillerson said in response to whether the United Nations critiques might suggest the world is starting to believe the president's position on neo-Nazis may reflect that of the country.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the secretary of state was asked to address a formal rebuke from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which censured the United States for its "failure at the highest political level" to "unequivocally reject and condemn" the hate groups that gathered in Charlottesville.

"I made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech at the State Department last week", Tillerson replied.

Fox News' Chris Wallace responded: "And the president's values?"

The top USA diplomat added that no one should harbor doubts that the USA government is committed to long-standing American principles.

Trump initially condemned hatred and bigotry on "many sides" after a white nationalist demonstration August 12 led to the murder of counter protester Heather Heyer, 32.

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Rex Tillerson, usually discrete on the scene of domestic policy, has not explicitly denounced these statements. We represent the American people.

Tillerson was the second prominent figure in politics to pan the president's Charlottesville response on Sunday, with former Vice President Joe Biden penning an editorial for the Atlantic, lambasting Trump for 'embolden [ing] white supremacists'.

"The president speaks for himself, Chris", Tillerson answered. One failed and none posed risk to the United States, the US Pacific Command said in a statement late Friday. For example, top economic adviser Gary Cohn told the Financial Times that Trump's team "must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups".

"I think he's completely wrong", Tillerson said.

North Korea has conducted more than a dozen missile tests this year, including two using ICBMS, sparking a war of words earlier this month between President Donald Trump and Kim's regime that rattled global markets.

The leaders of Britain and Germany had previously said in response to Charlottesville that violence and bigotry must always be condemned.

Secretary of State says Trump doesn't speak for American values