'Hate is a cancer': Apple CEO Tim Cook condemns Charlottesville violence and Donald Trump's response in message to staff

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has condemned Donald Trump’s response to the deadly Charlottesville rally in an email to employees, telling them that “hate is a cancer”.

Mr Cook also denounced the clashes at the white supremacist rally in Virginia and said it “has no place in our country”.

It comes after Mr Trump said there was “blame on both sides” for the violence, which culminated in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, after a car crashed into anti-racist demonstrators.

The Apple chief told staff: “The events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and I’ve heard from many people at Apple who are saddened, outraged or confused. What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country.

“We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it.

Donald Trump during the press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan (REUTERS)

The email, published by Buzzfeed, continued: “This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality.”

Concerning the president, he added: “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”

The Charlottesville clashes erupted after a group of Far-right extremists gathered to protest a decision to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee, who commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces during the American Civil War.

A photo of Heather Heyer among flowers at a vigil for her (AP)

Ms Heyer later died after a car driven by a white nationalist rammed into crowds as anti-fascist demonstrators confronted the white supremacists.

In a carefully-scripted White House statement on Monday, Trump eventually branded the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans”.

But during a bizarre press conference at his Manhattan residence a day later the president appeared to revert to his original position.

He acknowledged there were “some very bad people” among the statue removal protesters, but added: “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”

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