By now it’s fair to say JK Rowling is the queen of takedowns on Twitter. Unlike other authors or celebrities, the Harry Potter creator doesn’t hold back on topics both light-hearted and serious, not least sharing her political views when it matters.
So she was never going to shy away from calling out Donald Trump for staying silent after violence broke out at a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday (12 August).
The ‘Unite the Right’ rally involved white supremacists waving Nazi flags and shouting Nazi-linked chants as they marched on the University of Virginia. Tragically, the events resulted in three deaths and 19 people injured when a car crashed into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters.
Trump, known for sharing multiple tweets per day, remained inexplicably silent on social media when the violence first erupted – and Rowling didn’t allow it to go unnoticed.
The author took to Twitter sharing a photo of a young man marching with a Nazi swastika flag right beside a Confederate flag.
Pointing out what everyone else was thinking, she wrote alongside: “Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet.”
Her simple message has since been shared and liked hundreds and thousands of times, and an hour later Trump took to Twitter to finally have his say.
“We ALL must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!” he wrote.
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Trump continued to tweet about the violence in Charlottesville after riot police had to intervene and a state of emergency was issued.
Deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. You're all among the best this nation produces.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Trump has since received criticism on social media for his response to the rally – with people calling him out for not explicitly condemning the white extremist groups.
Colorado Senator Cory Gardner tweeted: "Mr President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."
Similarly, Senator Marco Rubio placed importance on the President directly condemning the white supremacists.
“Very important for the nation to hear POTUS describe events in Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by white supremacists.”
Ivanka Trump appeared to condemn the violence more so than her father, by tweeting: “1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”
1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017
The White House has since made an official statement on Sunday 13 August, clarifying Trump’s original comments.
"The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday (12 August) that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups," a spokesperson said, according to the BBC.