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US Secretary maintains his distance from Trump's race row position

By AP Reporter

The values of US President Donald Trump should be considered separate from America's when it comes to race, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said.

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Mr Tillerson was asked to comment on Mr Trump's see-sawing 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.

Mr Tillerson replied that "we express America's values from the State Department" and that when it comes to Mr Trump's values, "the President speaks for himself".

He added the nation's commitment to fighting racial injustice is unquestioned and that he doesn't "believe anyone doubts the American people's values" or the government's commitment to that goal.

When host Chris Wallace asked whether Tillerson was "separating himself" from Trump's remarks, he answered: "I've made my own comment as to our values."

Last week, a United Nations committee criticised Mr Trump for what it deemed his failure to fully condemn hatred and bigotry in the wake of deadly violence at a white supremacist march in Charlottesville.

Former Vice President Joe Biden added his voice to the row.

In a commentary published in The Atlantic, Mr Biden wrote: "Today we have an American President who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate."

He also claimed Mr Trump had "emboldened white supremacists".

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