“You had a group on one side who was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now,” Trump said, referring to white supremacists, anti-fascists known as “antifa” and counterprotesters who converged in Charlottesville over the weekend. “You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.” MORE
In a remarkable news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, President Donald Trump blamed the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday on both sides of the conflict, equating the white supremacists on one side with the “alt-left” on the other side.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” he said.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the alt-right, do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump said. “What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs, do they have any problem, I think they do.”
He added: “You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now.”
Trump defended his 48-hour delay in denouncing white supremacists, arguing that he took his time because he didn’t know the facts.
“Donald Trump did not hesitate to compare U.S. intelligence officers to Nazis but after white nationalists waving the Nazi flag erupted in violent clashes throughout downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, the president failed to call out racists and chide white supremacists — even after a car plowed into a group of anti-racists protesters, killing at least one person.
A spokesperson for the University of Virginia Hospital cited one death and at least 35 injured on Saturday afternoon, the violent aftermath of a what appears to be a deliberate attack. White supremacists gathered near the college campus to protest the removal of a Confederate statute. Self-identified “alt-right” protesters —a key constituency of Trump’s base made up mostly of white men— marched through the campus carrying tiki torches Friday night.” MORE