Trump re­peats ‘both sides’ con­tro­versy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

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.”

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