Trump repeats ‘both sides’ controversy
WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Thursday repeated his controversial remarks that there was “blame on both sides” in the deadly white supremacist demonstrations last month.
The remarks came a day after Trump met with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who publicly criticized Trump’s position on the Charlottesville incident for giving comfort to white supremacists and the KKK.
“We had a great talk yesterday,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One when asked about his meeting with Scott.
“I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side,” Trump said. “And essentially that’s what I said.”
Trump on Thursday also signed a resolution condemning white supremacists and hate groups. The resolution, passed by Congress earlier this week, condemns “the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place” in Charlottesville as well as white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups.
Antifa is a protest movement that sometimes resorts to violent measures to fight neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The group has attracted much attention in the wake of the Charlottesville violence which led to one death and dozens of injuries on Aug 12.
White supremacists, neoNazis and the KKK took to the streets on that day in the historic college town of Charlottesville in protest against a city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, a general who had fought for the proslavery Confederacy during the US Civil War.
A 32-year-old anti-racism protester was killed and many others were wounded after a Nazi-sympathizer drove a car into a crowd, but Trump first condemned the violence “on many sides”, which drew bipartisan criticism.
In his latest comments over the incident on Thursday, Trump indicated that he had been right all along.
“Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa, you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump might have a point’,” Trump said. “I said, ‘You’ve got some very bad people on the other side also’, which is true.”
When asked about his meeting with Trump, Scott said he didn’t go in there to “change who he was”.
“I wanted to inform and educate a different perspective,” he said. “I think we accomplished that and to assume that immediately thereafter he’s going to have an epiphany is just unrealistic.”