On ABC's "This Week," Rep. James Clyburn wonders why President Trump chose to praise Confederate General Robert E. Lee given his preference for "winners."
"I find it kind of interesting the president is now glorifying a loser," he said about Trump's comment clarifying his stance on what happened last year in Charlottesville. "He always said that he hated losers. Robert E. Lee was a loser."
REP. JAMES CLYBURN, (D) SOUTH CAROLINA: There is just too much acrimony in our electoral process, in our interactions with each other, and we need some leadership on this from our political leaders from the White House on down.
I do believe that the climate in this country is pretty much dictated by our elected officials and we ought to do what is necessary to calm some of that rhetoric.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, congressman, the president quickly and forcefully condemned the shooting yesterday, but we also saw him this week doubling down on his reaction to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying there were fine people on both sides. That was his comment then. And of course, that was now in response to Vice President Biden's -- former Vice President's Biden announcement video.
Here is what the president said after that.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly. And I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general, whether you like it or not he was one of the great generals.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president doesn't seem to be backing away at all from those comments about Charlottesville.
CLYBURN: Oh, because I think he's expressing what is in his heart.
The fact of the matter is, Robert E. Lee was a great tactician, was not a great person.
Robert E. Lee was a slave owner and a brutal slave master. Thankfully he lost that war and I find it kind of interesting the president is now glorifying a loser. He always said that he hated losers. Robert E. Lee was a loser.
And even if you could get beyond that at the end of the civil war, Robert E. L:ee asked all of his comrades to lay down their guns and to furl those Confederate flags, and if my memory serves and put them in your attics, so if the president is going to glorify Robert E. Lee, let's at least be consistent about it.