Donald Trump defends Charlottesville performance, blasts 'violent alt-left'

Donald Trump defends Charlottesville performance, blasts 'violent alt-left'

The US president gave a remarkable press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Donald Trump has defended his response to the Charlottesville attack in a combative press conference. 

The event, which took place yesterday in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, saw the President revert to blaming "both sides" for the incident, where a woman died after a car was rammed into crowds protesting against a far-right rally. 

On Monday, Trump had specifically condemned white supremacy and Neo-Nazis following hefty criticism of his comments about how blame could be held on both sides. 

The press conference saw an apparent backtrack from this position. While he condemned the alleged murderer, the US president also blasted the "violent alt-left" who he said "came charging at the alt-right" in Virginia during the events of the weekend. 

He also questioned whether the move to take down Confederate monuments would lead to the desecration of others depicting key American figures, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

The performance quickly went viral, with many figures in US politics like Marco Rubio and several key military officers condemning the remarks. The hashtag #impeachtrump has also been trending on Twitter.

Conversely, David Duke - a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan - praised the President for "telling the truth" and condemning the "leftist terrorists."

See the full press conference below:

Trump on the alt-left: "There is another side. There was a group on this side. You have just called them the left, they came violently attacking the other group."

Trump on the alt-Left with clubs: "What about the fact they came charging, they came charging swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do."

Trump on Confederate statues: "This week, it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed Stonewall Jackson is coming down. Is it George Washington next week? Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"