Trump: ‘Bad dudes’ op­posed protesters

President re­news view of vi­o­lence in Vir­ginia

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - MORNING BRIEFING - By Jesse J. Hol­land The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.”

Evan Vucci

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.

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