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Trump Praises ‘Great’ Confederate General While Defending His ‘Both Sides’ White Supremacist Remarks

Authoritarianism

Trump Praises ‘Great’ Confederate General While Defending His ‘Both Sides’ White Supremacist Remarks





President Trump on Friday defended saying there were “very fine people on both sides” hours after the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white nationalists and anti-fascist counterprotesters in 2017.

When Trump was asked about his original response to the rally and the attack on counterprotesters, he said, “I’ve answered that question, and if you look at what I said you will see that that question was answered perfectly.”

“I was talking about people that felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general whether you like it or not,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn before departing for the National Rifle Association’s annual convention.

The president claimed he had spoken to active duty generals who told him Lee, a U.S. Army officer who defected to the Confederate side and led the Army of Northern Virginia, was their “favorite general.”



“People were there protesting the taking down of the monument of Robert E. Lee,” Trump added. “Everybody knows that.”

The August 2017 “Unite The Right” protests in Charlottesville were organized by a group of white supremacists to protest the removal of a statue of Lee, and the rally turned violent over the weekend. The rallies began with neo-Nazis marching through the University of Virginia campus at night carrying tiki torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us!”

Heather Heyer, 23, was killed when a car driven by a neo-Nazi plowed into a group of counterprotesters. Two state police officers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while monitoring the clashes.

Trump’s response blaming “both sides” for the violence, which was widely criticized, was the centerpiece of Biden’s campaign launch video.

“He said there were ‘some very fine people on both sides.’ Very fine people on both sides,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a video posted to Youtube on Thursday which officially marked the launch of his presidential bid. “With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.”



Biden at the time said the events in Charlottesville convinced him we were in a “battle for the soul of this nation.” He predicted “history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time.”




“I was talking about people that felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general whether you like it or not,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn before departing for the National Rifle Association’s annual convention.


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