Sen. Orrin Hatch urges Trump to speak out against hate groups

Sen. Orrin Hatch, speaks during the Utah Republican Party 2016 nominating convention in Salt Lake City, April 23, 2016. PlayRick Bowmer/AP Photo
WATCH Donald Trump's news conferences continues to echo across America

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, urged President Trump not to equivocate when addressing white nationalists and the protesters who opposed them, after the president blamed "both sides" for the violence that broke out in Charlottesville on Saturday.

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"Hatch urged him to speak clearly and unequivocally on these issues, because even the appearance of tolerating hate and bigotry only divides us further," an aide to the senior Utah senator told ABC.

Hatch, who initiated the call with the White House, also said he wants Trump to find opportunities to unify the nation "and come together so we can grow from this."

Hatch, who has occasionally defended the president even when his fellow Republican senators decry his actions, also stressed that he wants to help Trump be successful in any way.

Hatch issued a detailed statement Monday saying the nation "has some soul-searching to do." He also spoke about his brother who died fighting in World War II.

"I was just eight years old when my older brother Jesse was killed in World War II. As I said on Saturday, Jesse didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. I will never hesitate to speak out against hate -- whenever and wherever I see it."

A White House spokesperson did not respond to requests for their own readout of the call.