The Republican presidential hopeful in Montana’s Senate race said Thursday he hasn’t apologized “for” a tweet by President Donald Trump that was critical of the president’s reaction to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sen. Jon Tester, who was the only Democrat on the state’s congressional delegation, told reporters that Trump hasn’t offered him an apology for his comments, and said he will continue to fight to win the seat he lost to Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
“I am not apologizing for anything that he said, he is not apologizing to me or anyone else in the state for what he said,” Tester said.
“I think the truth is, he’s gotten to the point where he can’t stop making those comments.
He’s not going to be apologetic.
I think the fact that he can go back to his tweets shows that he’s not apologizing.”
Heitkamp, the state attorney general, was one of the first to condemn Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protests.
The Democratic congresswoman, who is running against Republican David Weigel for the seat, tweeted: “Trump doesn’t apologize for the KKK’s actions or the hatred that they engendered.”
“It’s been clear for months that he was trying to create a wedge between the Democratic Party and the white nationalists, so his comments this week just make it worse,” said Heitkowski, who did not directly respond to the president Thursday.
She added: “It is beyond time for the president to apologize.
He doesn’t deserve the platform he’s given him.”
Tester’s campaign said Thursday that it plans to keep up its fight for a seat that he won in 2016 with a more moderate platform and that he has not “admitted to apologizing for the tweet.”
“I’ve never apologized for anything he’s said, so I don’t know what the problem is with saying that,” Testers campaign said in a statement.
“The fact is that his actions are inexcusable, and he has failed the American people.”