President Donald Trump melted down during a press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday and defended his original statement on the violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Though he said the driver who allegedly plowed into a crowd at a counter-protest, killing a woman, brought “disgrace to himself, his family, and his country,” Trump defended his original refusal to explicitly condemn neo-Nazis, saying he made a “fine statement.” He also criticised what he described as the “alt-left” counter-protesting in Charlottesville.
“What about the alt-left who came charging at him?” Trump said, likely referring to the driver. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands? Do they have any problem? I think they do.”
Trump then regressed to the rhetoric he used in his original statement on the Charlottesville protests, which blamed “many sides” for the violence and failed to condemn white supremacists specifically.
“As far as I’m concerned that was a horrible horrible day… You had a group on one side that was bad and a group on one side that was very violent,” Trump said. “No one wants to say that but I’ll say it.”
Trump also defended some protesters in Charlottesville, saying “not all of those people were neo-Nazis, not all were white supremacists.”
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” Trump said, referring to Confederate statues that are being removed from some cities in the US. “I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?”
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