Tillerson distances himself from Trump's Charlottesville response

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Asked twice to say how President Donald Trump's mealy-mouthed response to racist violence affects America's reputation overseas, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refused to defend the president's remarks and went to far as to say the president doesn't speak for the United States.

Tillerson offered no defense of Trump and said, "The President speaks for himself".

Tillerson went on to to note that he didn't believe "anyone doubts the American people's values".

Tillerson dodged the question, but says, "I have made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week".

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Wallace had brought up the "early warning" the United States had received Wednesday from a United Nations committee, in which members expressed concern after seeing the overt signs of racism on display in Charlottesville at the "Unite the Right" rally.

Trump's response earned a condemnation from almost everyone who is not an outright white supremacist, including the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which stated that Trump's refusal to lay the blame exclusively at the feet of the self-identified white nationalists was a "failure at the highest political level".

WALLACE: And the presidents values?

Wallace mentioned the United Nations criticism in his question to Tillerson about Trump's comments.

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Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Mr Tillerson was asked to comment on Mr Trump's seesawing response to violence at a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month and the criticism that he had morally equated neo-Nazis with the individuals protesting against them.

Eliot Cohen, a former counsellor at the State Department, wrote on Twitter that it sure looked like the "Secretary of State just tossed the president of the United States under the bus".

Tillerson's remarks followed harsh criticism of Trump from National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, who said in an interview Friday that he almost quit over the president's handling of the events in Charlottesville.

That was a reference to remarks Tillerson made August 18 about inclusiveness and tolerance in a discussion of racial diversity and American values. So we condemn racism, bigotry in all its forms.

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"I have spoken", Tillerson said. The State Department said in July that Tillerson needed to take "a little time off", but would not resign. "Our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal people the world over, and that message has never changed".

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