President Trump engaged in a heated conversation with reporters on Tuesday during a press conference at the elevator lobby of Trump Tower where he claimed that both protestors and counter protestors were both equally to blame for the violence that erupted on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump shifted the blame to the counter protestors which he called “alt-left” and said they came charging in without a permit, unlike the far right protestors who had a permit to march in protest of Confederate Leader Robert Lee’s statue being removed.
“You had a group… you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent. ” Trump said.
Trump claimed that he watched the events on Saturday in Charlottesville more closely than the media and appeared to be more ideologically aligned with the protestors after he questioned the rationale behind the drive to remove the statue of Robert Lee, a Confederate leader during the Civil War who fought in support of slavery.
“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’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week?” Trump questioned
Later in the press conference, President Trump pointed out the America’s first president, George Washington, was a slave owner and asked if he will now lose his status.
“I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump said.
Possessing slaves as a U.S. politician is not on the same plane or have the same moral equivalency as a Confederate General who led the entire military campaign to preserve slavery as a way of life in the Confederacy.
President Trump said that not all of the protestors at the protest in Charlottesville were neo-Nazis, although it was true that many of them were from white separatist groups or aligned with the alt-right movement which clings to far-right ideologies.
President Trump received criticism over his Tuesday press conference remarks from both Democrats and Republicans.
Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) tweeted, “There’s no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so.”
There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 16, 2017
Senator Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) asked what side Trump was on concerning good versus evil.
“When it comes to Nazism, white supremacy & domestic terrorism, the only sides are good vs. evil.
@realdonaldtrump, which side are you on?”
When it comes to Nazism, white supremacy & domestic terrorism, the only sides are good vs. evil. @realdonaldtrump, which side are you on?
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) August 15, 2017
Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, “The violence in Charlottesville was not caused by the “alt-left,” (whatever that may be). It was caused by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”
The violence in Charlottesville was not caused by the "alt-left," (whatever that may be). It was caused by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 15, 2017
Written and Edited By:
Here is my latest You Tube video where I provide some more commentary about Trump’s controversial press conference yesterday.