Republican Rep. Will Hurd: Trump should be "unambiguous" in opposing racism

Texas Rep. Hurd on Charlottesville

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have criticized President Trump after he cast blame on "both sides" for last weekend's deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counter-protesters.

"I think everybody needs to realize that the outrage that some of the comments that [Trump] said has caused is because you're trying to equate neo-Nazis and skinheads and anti-Semites to people that were trying to stand up against hate. That is the problem," Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."

Outrage after Trump continues to blame "both sides" for Charlottesville violence

Hurd, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and the Select Committee on Intelligence, is one of three African-American Republicans in Congress.

"The leader of the free world should be unambiguous in the opposition to racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism. And we also have to realize – I tell people all the time: We didn't elect an emperor, we elected a president, and the Republican Party is broader than just one individual," Hurd said.

The white supremacists were protesting Charlottesville's plan to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the city's Emancipation Park. On Thursday, Mr. Trump tweeted: "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments."

Instead of focusing on the divisions, Hurd said the country needs to discuss what unites Americans and how people are getting to the point of "radicalization."   

"I've spent nine and half years as an undercover officer in the CIA and most of my career was chasing terrorists and dealing with evil, and you have to deal with evil head-on. And these are the kinds of conversations we should be having right now, not whether or not there are good people going to Klan rallies," Hurd said. 

"It's 2017. It should be very clear that everybody should be against racism, against bigotry."