President Trump on Tuesday insisted that he did nothing wrong on Saturday when he declined to specifically condemn Nazi and white supremacist groups, asserting that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”
In a long, combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower, the president repeatedly rejected a torrent of bipartisan criticism for waiting several days before naming the right-wing groups and placing blame on “many sides” for the violence that ended with the deaths of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd.
Mr. Trump repeated that assertion on Tuesday, criticizing “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.”
Mr. Trump defended those gathered in the Charlottesville park to protest the statue’s removal, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
Mr. Trump unleashed a torrent of frustration at the news media, saying they were being “fake” because they did not acknowledge that his initial statement about the Charlottesville protest was “very nice.”
Again and again, Mr. Trump said that the portrayal of nationalist protesters in the city were not all Nazis or white supremacists, and he said it was unfair to suggest that they were. – The New York Times
David Duke responded:
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) August 15, 2017