Sept. 15 (UPI) — On his return to Washington Thursday night, President Donald Trump again addressed the Charlottesville violence last month — and again drew a parallel between both sides of the protests.
Trump reinforced the initial comments he made after the violent clashes at the University of Virginia on Aug. 12, which led to the death of a counter-protester.
A 32-year-old woman died and several were injured in the clashes, which grew from demonstrators marching in support of keeping a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Trump said at the time that both sides shared blame for the violence.
Scott requested the meeting to discuss racial issues and Scott’s perception of the difference between the white supremacist movement and the “Antifa,’ or far-left anti-fascist movement.
“I think especially in 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. “Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa. When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’
“I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”
Trump made the remarks on his way back to Washington, D.C., from Florida, where he visited with victims of Hurricane Irma Thursday.
Last month, Trump said there was blame “on many sides” and that some “very fine people” marched on the side of Confederate support.
A statement from Scott’s office criticized Trump’s reiteration Thursday. It said Scott, at the White House meeting, was “very, very clear about the brutal history surrounding the white supremacist movement and their horrific treatment of black and other minority groups.”
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and to expect the president’s rhetoric to change based on one 30-minute conversation is unrealistic,” it said. “Antifa is bad and should be condemned, yes, but white supremacists have been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries. There is no realistic comparison.”
Later Thursday, Trump signed a joint resolution from Congress that denounced white supremacy — and said, “as Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms.”