Donald Trump has backpedaled on condemning the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, enacted by white supremacists.
In a report from CNN, during a back-and-forth with journalists at Trump Tower Monday afternoon, Trump said that both sides were responsible for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said. “What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right,’ do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs, do they have any problem? I think they do.”
“You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” he continued. “Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now.”
Initially, Trump did not directly condemn the white supremacy groups that were present in Charlottesville for the “Unite The Right” rally, saying”
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides…We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other. Ideally we have to love each other.
Following that, Trump used an address from the White House to say the following about Charlottesville:
Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.
Now, however, he has put equal blame on both sides of the conflict.
This is the President of the United States defending Nazis and white supremacists on national television. pic.twitter.com/CJf9e4vg2T
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 15, 2017