Trump defends his Charlottesville comments, again

US President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 14, 2017, more strongly condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday stood by his belief that both sides were to blame for violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.

Trump had drawn criticism for not initially condemning white supremacists who organised the event on 12 August, with even some of his fellow Republicans expressing dismay at his opinion.

READ: Trump isolated after Charlottesville remarks

Trump spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One a day after a meeting with South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott, an African-American who had expressed concern about Trump's comments.

"We had a great talk yesterday," he said of his meeting with Scott.

"I think especially in the light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what’s going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also. And essentially that's what I said."

Trump said anti-fascist groups known as the "antifa" must share blame for neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan fighting with anti-racism protesters in the streets. One woman was killed when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into demonstrators.

READ: Obama's Charlottesville Tweet most liked in history

On Thursday, the president also signed a resolution sent to him by Congress that condemned the violence in Charlottesville and opposed "hatred, bigotry and racism in all forms."

"No matter the colour of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag and we are all made by the same almighty God," Trump said in a statement regarding the resolution.

READ: Driver accused of murder in Charlottesville violence due in court

In Berkeley, California, violence erupted on 27 August when a small group of masked antifa and left-wing protestors attacked right-wing demonstrators.

"Now, because of what’s happened since then with antifa, you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville. A lot of people are saying, in fact, a lot of people have actually written, 'Gee, Trump might have a point,'" he said.


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