The White House has responded to a handful of petitions calling for various states to be given the right to secede from the United States, calling for unity and participatory government instead.
"In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that's a good thing. Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted," writes Director of the Office of Public Engagement Jon Carson.
"But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don't let that debate tear us apart," he adds.