Donald Trump condemns the removal of ‘beautiful’ statues of Confederate generals and slave owners

Donald Trump has again waded into the storm surrounding his comments over the violence in Charlottesville, saying that the removal of statues of Confederate generals makes him “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart”.

Mr Trump’s latest remarks come as the White House looks for ways to manage the fallout from his response to the racially charged protests at the weekend, as he continues to isolate himself amid widespread criticism.

The President also tweeted “you can’t change history, but you can learn from it”, appearing to imply that keeping the statues up would be a reminder of the country’s Civil War bloodshed and the scourge of slavery.

Mr Trump has given several conflicting statements over the protests, which began with white nationalists and neo-Nazis protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee. The ensuing violence included one woman – 32-year-old Heather Heyer – being killed alongside more than a dozen other people being injured after a car drove through counter-protesters. A man alleged to be the driver of the car has been charged with second-degree murder and a number of other charges. He is believed to have held sympathies with far-right views.

Pressured by advisers, the President had taken a step back from the dispute on Monday and condemned far-right extremist groups, two days after he had enraged many by declining to single out white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Yet he returned to his combative stance on Tuesday – insisting anew that “both sides” were to blame. And then in a burst of tweets on Thursday he renewed his criticism of efforts to remove memorials and tributes to the Civil War Confederacy.

“Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish,” Mr Trump tweeted.

During the Tuesday news conference at Trump Tower, Mr Trump said multiple times that many of the…

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