"nightly news" begins right now. >>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. >>> and good evening. thanks for being with us tonight. after what to many came off as a tone deaf response to this weekend's racist-fueled violence in charlottesville, president trump today tried to find the right notes as they took to the podium again to address the tragedy. this time calling out the kkk neo-nazis by name for sowing the seeds of hate that blossomed into bloodshed when aar c driven into a crowd left a young woman dead and moore than a dozen others injured. it was part of a horrific day that also saw two police officers killed in a helicopter accident. tonight, the president's words and actions under scrutiny as he faces a major test of moral leadership. our white house correspondent hallie jackson has the latest. >> reporter: president trump today delivering the message many wanted sooner. >> racism is evil. and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the kkk, neo-nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.
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