President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his decision to wait two days before placing blame on white supremacists for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday. During a rambling and angry press conference at Trump Tower, the president attacked anti-fascist counterprotesters, repeating his earlier claim that “both sides” were to blame for the violence.
President Donald Trump: “What about the 'alt-left' that came charging at the, as you say, the 'alt-right'? Do they have any semblance of guilt? What—let me ask you this: What about the fact they came charging—that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.”
During the press conference, Trump seemed to ridicule the national movement to remove Confederate monuments, saying the protesters would next want to tear down statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Trump also defended some of the white nationalist protesters who descended on Charlottesville.
President Donald Trump: “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.”