President Trump On Taking Down Confederate Statues: "I Wonder, Is It George Washington Next Week?"


President Trump said more about the protest which led to violent clashes and one murder over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia at a press conference Tuesday. He noted that there were "Neo-Nazis" and "white supremacists" among the crowd, and he condemned such groups, but he also appeared to support the original demonstration in favor of keeping a statue of Robert E. Lee that the city government plans to take down. Trump noted that the original demonstration was non-violent and had a permit from the city and said that violence broke out when left wing protesters attacked them.

"I've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned a lot of different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me, not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch," the president said.

"Those people were there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee. You take a look at some of the groups and you see, and you'd know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you're not. Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really have to ask yourself, where does it stop? But they were there to protest -- excuse me. Take a look the night before. They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee."

When asked the statues of Robert E. Lee should stay up, the president said: "That should be up to a local town, community -- or the federal government depending on where it is located."

"He was a major slave-owner," Trump said about the first president at a press conference in Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon. "How about Thomas Jefferson? You like him? He was a major slave owner, so we'll take down his statue."

To those who would remove such statues: "You're changing history, you're changing culture."

"I think there is blame on both sides," he repeated. "And I have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say it."

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