Trump was later criticized Saturday evening for tweeting about the people who died when a State Police helicopter crashed, but not mentioning the 32-year-old female pedestrian who was killed when a auto plowed into a crowd of counter protesters. He ignored reporters' shouted questions, including whether he wanted the support of white nationals who have said they backed him or if the vehicle crash in Virginia were deemed intentional, would it be declared to be terrorism.
"It is now clear that public safety can not be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property", McAuliffe wrote in a statement on his emergency declaration. "I urge all people of good will-go home", Signer wrote.
"You are not wanted in this great commonwealth".
The clashes highlight how the white supremacist movement has resurfaced under the "alt-right" banner after years in the shadows of mainstream American politics.
McAuliffe said via Twitter that he declared the state of emergency "to aid state response to violence at alt-right rally in Charlottesville".
"We're closely following the bad events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia", Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf course.
Instead, during a press conference, the president said he condemns "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides". He did not say the words "white supremacists" or "white nationalism". The National Transportation Safety Board and Virginia State Police are investigating the crash. So far, two people have been treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Virginia Senator Mark R Warner said Virginians mourn the life taken in this morning's events and reject this hateful violence in Charlottesville.
In a tweet, President Trump said Americans must "condemn all that hate stands for", saying "there is no place for violence in America".
The president's reluctance to condemn white bigots also stood in stark contrast by his insistence of calling out "radical Islamic terrorism" by name.
"We are saddened by the ongoing events in Charlottesville, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Virginia", Emanuel said in a statement.
The fighting broke out in the city's downtown when hundreds of people, some wearing white nationalist symbols and carrying Confederate battle flags, were confronted by a almost equal number of counter-protesters. Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas delivered the latest on the situation.
Both local hospitals said they had taken precautions to prepare for an influx of patients and had extra staff on call.
The Charlottesville confrontation was a stark reminder of the growing political polarization that has intensified since Trump's election a year ago. Mimi Arbeit, an organizer of the counter-protests, however, rejected Kessler's claim that the rally was about freedom of speech. The silver sedan then reversed away rapidly.
The far-right protesters are angry about the planned removal of a statue of Gen Robert E Lee from Charlottesville.
The driver was later arrested, authorities said.