Mancheno-Smoak Silent on Trump's Defense of White Supremacists
SPRINGFIELD, Va. – As condemnation of President Trump's appalling defense of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan continues to grow, Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates' 42nd District Lolita Mancheno-Smoak has remained silent.
Mancheno-Smoak, who referred to Trump as her "ideal presidential candidate" when he first announced his candidacy and attended the Virginia Women for Trump's celebration of his first 100 days in office, has not suggested any wavering of her support for the President, despite his widely condemned reactions to the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend.
"Lolita Mancheno-Smoak's refusal to condemn Donald Trump's defense of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK is a failure of the most basic moral test of our elected leaders," said Noah Kim, campaign manager for Kathy Tran, the Democratic candidate for the 42nd District. "Voters in the 42nd District deserve to know whether Mancheno-Smoak agrees with Trump that there were 'very fine people' among the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, or if she will unequivocally condemn white supremacists and Trump's defense of them."
In stark contrast, Tran directly confronted the issue at a canvass kick-off on Sunday, which began with a moment of silence for those killed or hurt in Charlottesville over the weekend. "This hatred threatens to undermine our nation's most fundamental values," she said to volunteers. "The President has displayed a complete lack of moral leadership in not only refusing to unequivocally condemn white supremacists and domestic terrorism, but also by embracing a brand of politics that seeks to divide us. It is the duty of every American to work together to uphold the values of our democracy. In the face of this violent hate that seeks to drive us apart through fear, we must remain committed to building a more welcoming and inclusive Commonwealth and country."