"Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them".
Lindsey Graham (S.C.) rebuked Trump by name, saying the president "took a step backward" by "suggesting there is moral equivalency" between the white supremacists and the counter-protesters.
The post came amid fallout from his widely broadcast, unscripted news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday in which he doubled down on his assertion that both sides bore responsibility for the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"If you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee", he said on Tuesday, referring to a torch-carrying group of far-right activists, many of whom were waving Swastikas or chanting "Jews will not replace us".
"Mr. President, like most I seek to move our nation, my state, and our party forward - toward the light - not back to the darkness".
Trump has been roundly criticized for his comments on protests in Charlottesville, Virginia - the president attributed blame for bigotry and violence to "many sides", a point which has been regarded as a failure to condemn white supremacists - by politicians and media members across the political spectrum. "For the sake of our nation - as our President - please fix this", Graham tweeted August 17, according to CNN. Sheriff Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt when he continued racial profiling and imprisoning Latinos disproportionately, ignoring court orders.
More key Republicans took immediate offense at Trump's contention there was equivalency in who was to blame for the hours of street violence, as demonstrators squared off with makeshift clubs, engaged in fist fights and fired bursts of chemical irritants at each other.
Although the two men have been at odds for much of Trump's presidency, Graham's remarks during a CNN interview August 16 began the Twitter feud between the two Republicans.
"We must be clear. There can be no moral ambiguity". There was a group on this side, you can call them the left ... that came violently attacking the other group. "This is about the fact that now these folks are apparently going to go other places and they think that they had some sort of a victory". But for a party that has put up with endless Trump outrages, this one feels different.
Trump's remarks also drew a rebuke from an ally, British Prime Minister Theresa May.
"I do not endorse this moral equivalency", Graham said.