On Monday President Trump condemned white supremacists — two days after deadly protests in Charlottesville, VA sparked international outrage.
Today, President Trump reversed course and tried to place equal blame on what he calls the “alt-left” for the violence in Virginia. As the New York Times reports:
In a long, combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president repeatedly rejected a torrent of bipartisan criticism for waiting several days before naming the right-wing groups and placing blame on “many sides” for the violence on Saturday that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd.
He said that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”
And he criticized “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.”
“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Mr. Trump said. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
He noted that the first American president had owned slaves.
Mr. Trump defended those gathered in the Charlottesville park to protest the statue’s removal, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
Not long after Trump finished his remarks, this happened:
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) August 15, 2017
Yes, THAT David Duke.