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Charlottesville Violence: Governor McAuliffe Calls on Trump to Aid Unity

by F. Brinley Bruton and Daniella Silva /
Image: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivers remarks during a worship service at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Sunday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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Virginia's governor said he told President Donald Trump to help the effort to stop hate speech in the United States after deadly violence swept a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

"My message is this hatred, bigotry language has got to stop. ... There's no place for it in this country, and we have got to work together as I told the president yesterday twice," Gov. Terry McAuliffe told NBC News' Tom Costello in an exclusive interview on Sunday. "This language, this rhetoric, this hatred has got to stop."

Asked whether he believed some of Trump's own rhetoric was partly to blame, McAuliffe said hatred and rhetoric had "hit an all-time high."

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"It's got to stop, and they've got to stop this rhetoric. They've got to stop the attacks on individuals. We've got to work together," he said. "It's the only way we can succeed as a nation today."

McAuliffe issued similar remarks on Saturday, saying he told Trump: "I'd be willing to work with you if we can work together to bring people together. But stop the hate speech, stop the rhetoric in this country."

McAuliffe's remarks come after white nationalist marchers clashed with counter-protesters and a car plowed into a group described as anti-racist demonstrators, killing one and injuring 19 others. Two Virginia state troopers also died Saturday when the helicopter they were in crashed near the rally.

McAuliffe said Sunday that he was "personally" close to the troopers.

"One flew me for 3½ years, and the other was part of my executive protection unit. Going over to that family yesterday and seeing those two young children breaks your heart," he said.

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