Trump denounces removal of ‘beautiful’ Confederate statues, monuments

BRIDGEWATER, New Jersey  — President Donald Trump on Thursday denounced the removal of monuments to Confederate figures as “sad” and “so foolish,” days after white supremacists and neo-Nazis took to Charlottesville, Virginia, to violently protest the planned removal of a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.”

Trump’s tweets came as he continued to face criticism for comments he made on Tuesday in which he blamed “both sides” of the Charlottesville protests — the white supremacists and those protesting against them — for the violence that took hold of that small Virginia city. While Trump condemned the neo-Nazi and white supremacists who protested, he insisted there were “very fine people” among those protesting the removal of Lee’s statue in Charlottesville.

Echoing his comments on Tuesday, Trump tweeted Thursday that the removal of Confederate statues could lead to the removal of monuments to the US’s founding fathers.

“Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” Trump tweeted. “Also 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 came as Trump continued to face a torrent of criticism for his remarks Tuesday, with several prominent Republicans in Congress admonishing Trump for his response.