President Trump's two main CEO councils are disbanding in the wake of his Charlottesville remarks
Former US presidents George HW Bush and George W Bush have issued a rare joint statement condemning "racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms".
The statement comes amid the continued fallout from the violence that broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
President Donald Trump has faced widespread criticism for his response to the violence, after yesterday doubling down on his comments blaming 'both sides' for the clashes.
In a statement, the two Bush presidents did not directly refer to the current president's response, instead writing: "America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms.
"As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights."
The father and son add: "We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country."
The statement came after Barack Obama's weekend response to the news from Charlottesville became the most liked tweet in Twitter's history:
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
Meanwhile, many prominent figures have hit out at President Trump after his defiant press conference on Tuesday evening.
It was confirmed this afternoon that his two main CEO councils will be disbanded, after a number of prominent members opted to resign in response to President Trump's recent remarks:
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
The political backlash has also intensified over the last 24 hours.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio stated: "Mr President, you can't allow white supremacists to share only part of blame.
"The white supremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected."
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the president's comments referring 'many sides' ignore "the abhorrent evil of white supremacism, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around acts of hate from this President, his Administration and his campaign for the presidency."
Other world leaders have also weighed in, with British Prime Minister Theresa insisting there is "no equivalence between those who profound fascists views and those who oppose them".
"I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them," she added.
In a tweet earlier today, Donald Trump paid tribute to Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who died after a car drove into counter-protesters in Charlottesville:
Memorial service today for beautiful and incredible Heather Heyer, a truly special young woman. She will be long remembered by all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017