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President Trump has once again defended the white supremacists who marched violently on Charlottesville in August 2017.
Speaking outside the White House on Friday morning, Trump told reporters that everyone knew when he said there were some “very fine people on both sides” in the clashes on the UVa campus, he was not defending the neo-Nazis and white nationalists who rallied with torches and led to the murder of Heather Heyer, a peaceful counterprotester. He was simply talking about Civil War enthusiasts.
“I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general,” Trump said of the Confederate general in the Civil War, who fought to preserve slavery in the continental United States. “Whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals. I’ve spoken to many generals here right at the White House and many people thought — of the generals — they think he was maybe their favorite general. People were there protesting the taking-down of the monument of Robert E. Lee.”
Trump’s remarks — given right before he set off for the NRA convention in Indianapolis — are in tacit response to former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign announcement video Thursday morning, which highlighted Trump’s response to Charlottesville as a moral failing and the reason he (Biden) needs to run.
“They were met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensued. And a brave young woman lost her life,” Biden said in the video announcement. “And that’s when we heard the words from the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were ‘some very fine people on both sides.’ Very fine people on both sides?”
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs the White House, Friday April 26, 2019, as he leaves Washington headed to Indianapolis where he is expected to speak at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
This article originally appeared on VICE News US.