The US President has repeated that he thought there were “bad dudes” among the people who assembled to oppose a white nationalist protest in Virginia.
He was speaking on Thursday, a day after the Senate’s lone black Republican spoke with him about blaming “many sides” for the violence and death around a Confederate statue.
Mr Trump met with Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina on Wednesday at the White House, where he explained his comment, and why he said there were “very fine people” among the nationalists and neo-Nazis protesting the possible removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
Senator Scott said he told the president that there was no comparison.
“We had three or four centuries of rape, murder and death brought at the hands of the (Ku Klux Klan) and those who believe in a superior race,” Senator Scott told reporters following the meeting at the Capitol.
“I wanted to make sure we were clear on the delineation between who’s on which side in the history of the nation.”
But the day after the meeting, Mr Trump reiterated that he thought some of the protesters who opposed the white supremacists were “bad dudes” and people were beginning to agree with him.
“You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One Thursday while returning from viewing hurricane damage in Florida.
“In fact a lot of people have actually written ‘gee, Trump might have a point,”‘ the president added.
Senator Scott is not one of them.
Statement from our office on the President’s comments this afternoon: pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/p6ZU9USuxy
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) September 14, 2017
He bluntly criticised Trump for assigning blame in a way that put white supremacist protesters on equal footing with counterdemonstrators who turned out for the August 12 protests, sparked by Charlottesville officials’ decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The lastest remarks, Senator Scott said, compromised Mr Trump’s moral authority as president.