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Trump Just Defended White Supremacists During a Bizarre Press Conference on Charlottesville

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It’s hard to be shocked by President Donald Trump’s antics anymore, but he outdid himself in a press conference Tuesday afternoon when he defended the neo-Nazis protesting in Charlottesville, Va. this past weekend.

White supremacists met on Friday and Saturday in Virginia for a “Unite the Right” rally. On Friday night, they marched holding torches and yelled slogans such as, “Jews will not replace us,” The Washington Post reports. Saturday brought the rallygoers into contact with counterprotesters, and the mix quickly proved toxic. James Alex Fields Jr., who’d been attending the rally, drove his car into the counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than 20 others.

It was these events that Trump addressed on Tuesday by saying, “I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame object on both sides. I have no doubt about it either. If you reported it accurately, you would say that.”

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” Trump said during the press conference, according to The New York Times. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

Trump also talked about taking down monuments of Confederate generals, referring to part of reason for the Unite the Right rally—to protest taking down a large statue of Robert E. Lee in a Charlottesville park, which has already been renamed from Lee Park to Emancipation Park. “Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” he 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?” Taking down the statues, Trump said, would be “changing history and culture.”

The internet reacted immediately to Trump’s comments—including famous white supremacist David Duke, who praised the president’s remarks.

We’ll see if Trump tempers his statements at all in the coming days, but after this press conference, it’s obvious how he really feels.


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