What lawmakers have said about the tragedy in Charlottesville and Trump’s reaction

FILE - In this March 13, 2017 file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during an event to formally launch the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, in Newark, Del. Biden’s memoir is coming out Nov. 14 and will be called “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.” The book centers on 2015, when his son Beau died and he decided not to run for president even though he believed he could win. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Friday called on President Trump to address the nation and apologize for his remarks about Charlottesville, warning of “an unraveling of our national fabric” if Trump doesn’t take “remedial action in the extreme.”

“Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn,” Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said in a lengthy Facebook post.

With his post, Romney, who was highly critical of Trump during last year’s campaign but later considered by Trump for secretary of state, became the latest high-profile Republican to speak out about the president’s comments, in which he blamed both sides for the hate-fueled violence at a gathering organized by white supremacists.

Romney said the Republican president’s words had hurt the morale of the military and threatened U.S. security.

“Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate,” Romney wrote. “America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?”

After President Trump's rhetoric on the Charlottesville violence inflamed more criticism, a handful of GOP lawmakers are speaking out while many stay silent. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Romney also voiced concern about the impact of Trump’s statements on the nation’s youth, saying how Trump handles the situation going forward is not only a defining moment for him but “is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children.”

In the post, Romney suggests Trump acknowledge his comments were wrong in an address to the nation and “state forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville.”

Trump, Romney said, should also make clear “there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis — who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat — and the counterprotesters who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute.”