Defiant, Trump laments removal of Confederate statues and lashes at critics

Claudine Rigal
Août 20, 2017

J. /WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has on Thursday decried the removal of monuments to the pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy, echoing white nationalists and drawing stinging rebukes from fellow Republicans in a controversy that has inflamed racial tensions.

His tweets follow the death of a Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Va., during a white-nationalist rally over the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Ronald Reagan is considerably more popular and is viewed as the best representative of GOP principles and values.

Others, like Trump, are arguing that history should not be rewritten by removal of the statues, and note that some of country's Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, owned slaves.

Disapproval of the President's handling of events rose following the news conference in which he blamed the violence in Charlottesville on aggressors on both sides of the conflict - equating the white supremacists on one side with the "alt-left" on the other side - after his top White House aides spent days trying to clean up after Trump's initial vague response.

They're fucking Confederate statues, Trump! His comments ignited a storm of criticism. Graham said Trump suggested there was a "moral equivalency" between white supremacists and those who protested the rally. He just can't forget his election trouncing.

Police arrested James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, accusing him of ramming his auto into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, a Charlottesville paralegal, and injuring 19 people.

Trump called Flake, who has criticized him, "toxic" and all but endorsed Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in a primary.

Graham responded with a statement telling the president to fix what he done. "History is watching us all".

"Because of the manner in which you have handled the Charlottesville tragedy you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country".

That is not something Trump so far has done.

The fallout from Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville led to the disbanding of his CEO advisory panels on Wednesday as a growing number of chief executives from some of the nation's largest companies resigned in protest against the president's response.

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