President Donald Trump said the history and culture of the United States was being “ripped apart” by the removal of statues and monuments to Confederate leaders across the country.
Trump’s early Thursday tweets came after his earlier remarks that there were “very fine people” on both sides of a protest last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups violently clashed with counter-protesters over the removal of a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
In his initial response to the Charlottesville violence on Saturday, the president said there was “blame on both sides.” Two days later, he specifically denounced the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis at a White House press conference. But on Tuesday, Trump told reporters in New York the counter-protesters were were as much to blame for the violence as the white supremacists.
In his tweets on Thursday, the president said that it was not possible to change history but it would be good to learn from it.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Trump ended his remarks by saying that “the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”
The tweets come after a number of state officials, including Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, have proposed removing statues of Confederate leaders
Trump also repeated on Twitter his remarks that taking down the statues of Lee and Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson would lead to the removal of statues of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington because both owned slaves.
John T. Bennett contributed to this report.