PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — President Donald Trump’s remarks Tuesday on the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, drew strong criticism from Rhode Island’s Democratic congressional delegation while Trump’s biggest local supporter said he agrees with the president’s position.

Trump did not mince words when discussing the man charged with driving into a crowd and killing a woman with his car, calling him a murderer, but the president also insisted “there is blame on both sides” for the race-fueled violence that erupted this past weekend.

“You have a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” Trump said. “And nobody wants to say it but i’ll say it right now. You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very very violent.”

Trump pointed the finger at both the white supremacist groups and those protesting them, whom he dubbed “the alt-left.”

“It says a lot about the president’s lack of any moral fiber or character and it was appalling,” U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

Langevin, a Democrat, said he believes Trump should apologize for his remarks.

Former state Rep. Joe Trillo, who was honorary chairman of the Trump campaign in Rhode Island, said he thought the president was right in placing the blame on both sides.

“You’re going to go to that rally to cause trouble or to go against them,” he said. “You’re looking for trouble.”

Trump supporter and former RI Rep. Joe Trillo

Trillo, a Republican preparing a possible run for governor in 2018, also noted that Trump has already strongly condemned hate groups.

“He’s taken a strong stance against them,” Trillo said. “I think he’s been very clear with his stance and I think he’s condemned them. The problem is the left is never going to be happy with the way he does anything.”

But Langevin said he thinks Trump is creating a climate where groups like neo-Nazis and the KKK feel emboldened.

“He needs to wake up and realize what he’s doing and call these groups out for what they are, who they are and what they stand for,” he said.

Langevin and his three fellow members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation released statements on Tuesday:

U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin:

“On Saturday, the President refused to condemn an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by a white supremacist, blaming ‘both sides’ for the reprehensible attacks in Charlottesville. His comments today, doubling down on that ridiculous characterization, show his true moral fiber, and I am deeply appalled by his pronounced ignorance and utter indifference toward the hatred espoused by the people he is defending. Our country’s leaders must condemn racism and violence in the strongest possible terms, and the President is abdicating his moral responsibility by doing otherwise. This is not a partisan or political issue, but one of basic human rights and decency.”

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse:

“The Greatest Generation fought, bled and died to defeat the Nazi flag that flew in Charlottesville this weekend. Instead of flatly condemning these monsters of the past, the President equivocated and blows dog whistles to the bigots of the alt-right. Bigotry and hatred are not the lights of our nation’s future, and those who champion those ideas are a stain on our democracy.”

U.S. Congressman David Cicilline:

“This should be really simple. Nazis and white supremacists are to blame. Period. Full stop.”

“But instead the President has once again created an unnecessary controversy that distracts from the important work we have to do on behalf of working families. Defending Nazis doesn’t create jobs or raise wages or make America great again.”

“The only thing President Trump achieved today was to embarrass the American people and offer comfort to the worst elements of our society.”

U.S. Senator Jack Reed:

“The United States fought against Nazis and fascism in World War II. Over 400,000 Americans gave their lives in that fight. Today, President Trump failed to do the right thing and remember that sacrifice and why Nazis, bigotry, and white supremacists can have no place in our country. The President of the United States is the leader of the free world and should serve as a symbol for what is best about America. It is time for him to stop excusing white supremacists and start working to bring Americans together in the fight against racism and intolerance.”

Rhode Island GOP Chairman Brandon Bell also issued a statement Tuesday via Twitter: