On Tuesday afternoon, Trump told reporters that the alt-left should share the blame with the alt-right for last Saturday’s fatal attack in Charlottesville, VA. In other words, liberal counter-protesters to an ‘alt-right’ gathering praising a Confederate hero are just as guilty as the KKK members, Neo-Nazis, and other racist groups presented there.
Trump Places Blame on All Sides
On Tuesday, Trump made other eyebrow-raising comments such as the one comparing Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to Robert E. Lee simply because the Founding Fathers owned slaves. However, America’s first two presidents worked day and night to free the nascent country from tyranny, unlike Lee who spent most of his time defending slavery.
President Trump underlined that both groups of protesters in Charlottesville have their share of blame for the attack that led to the death of a liberal protester and the injury of dozens more.
“I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it,” Trump said. “And you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.”
The President did not mention that the right-wing groups boldly displayed firearms, including automatic rifles during the protest. It is true that no gun was fired, but a protester sharing Neo-Nazi views used his Dodge as a weapon and mowed down a group of counter-protesters, killing one.
Trump’s Other Controversial Comments
What’s more, Trump focused excessively on the fact that counter-protesters were armed with clubs and baseball bats. Those people were from an anti-Nazi group called Antifa, who were ready to meet any violence with violence. After all, why would you not protect yourself? That’s like walking the streets of Detriot without any weapons.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the alt-right?” Trump asked. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”
Surprisingly, instead of denouncing the Neo-Nazi groups present at the scene and the white supremacist killer, Trump underlined that the alt-right group included “very fine people.”
Trump’s comments were met with criticism by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. While House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced white supremacism as “disgusting” and criticized Trump for “moral ambiguity,” Sen. Bernie Sanders reminded Trump that millions died to defeat Nazism.
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