Trump: ‘Bad dudes’ opposed protesters
President renews view of violence in Virginia
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump repeated Thursday that he thought there were “bad dudes” among the people who assembled to oppose a white nationalist protest in Virginia, a day after the Senate’s lone black Republican spoke with him about blaming “many sides” for the violence and death around a Confederate statue.
Trump met with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina on Wednesday at the White House, where he explained his comment, and why he said there were “very fine people” among the nationalists and neo-nazis protesting the possible removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
Scott said he told the president that there was no comparison. “We had three or four centuries of rape, murder and death brought at the hands of the (Ku Klux Klan) and those who believe in a superior race,” Scott told reporters later at the Capitol. “I wanted to make sure we were clear on the delineation between who’s on which side in the history of the nation.”
But the day after the meeting, Trump reiterated that he thought some of the protesters who opposed the white supremacists were “bad dudes” and people were beginning to agree with him.
“You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One Thursday while returning from viewing hurri- cane damage.
“In fact a lot of people have actually written ‘gee, Trump might have a point,’” the president added.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump and Scott had an “in depth” discussion about the Charlottesville comments, “but the focus was primarily on solutions moving forward.”
“That was what both people came to the meeting wanting to discuss,” Sanders said during a White House briefing. “What we can do to bring people together, not talk about divisions within the country.”
The Associated Press President Donald Trump talks to the media Thursday after arriving at Southwest Florida International airport to meet with first responders and people impacted by Hurricane Irma in Fort Myers, Fla.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.