Trump Condemns 'Alt-Left' in Charlottesville Violence
President says anti-white supremacist protesters were 'very, very violent'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 4:24 PM CDT
President Donald Trump listens to a question while meeting the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Trump doubled down on Saturday's widely criticized "many sides" statement during a press conference Tuesday at Trump Tower, claiming "there is blame on both sides" in regards to the fatal white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, the New York Times reports. Trump had tried to walk back his original statement on Monday, but on Tuesday he called it "excellent" and a "fine statement," according to USA Today. He said he didn't condemn white supremacists on Saturday "because I didn't know all the facts." "I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct," the president said.

On Tuesday, Trump went ever further in his "many sides" argument, condemning the "alt-left" groups that were "very, very violent." He went on to say both sides—including the side that counts neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK as members—contain some "very fine people," ABC News reports. "Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me," Trump said. "Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch." He said many of the people in Charlottesville just didn't want to see a statue get torn down, pointing out that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. "This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson," Trump said. "Is it George Washington next?" Splinter notes the press conference was originally supposed to be about infrastructure.

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