Both sides to blame in Virginia – Trump

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US President Donald Trump has again blamed both sides for the violent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one protester dead and others injured.

In a statement on Monday, he had condemned white supremacists.

But in New York on Tuesday he also blamed left-wing supporters for charging at the “alt-right”.

He also defended the time it took to make his statement, saying he had wanted to establish all the facts.

Mr Trump had been accused over the weekend of failing to condemn the far-right specifically.

Heather Heyer, 32, died and 19 others were hurt when a car was driven into people protesting against a far-right march in Charlottesville on Saturday.

Mr Trump said that the car driver was a disgrace to himself and his country.

Bucket of kerosene

Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

On Monday, Donald Trump’s condemnation of the far-right came from advisers counselling him on what was politically necessary to defuse the growing storm following the Charlottesville violence.

On Tuesday, the president said what he really thought.

Although he initially explained away the delay in condemnations of white supremacists as necessary for him to gather “the facts” of the situation, the nature of the protests were quite evident by the evening before, when demonstrators chanting white supremacist slogans held a torchlight parade through Charlottesville.

In any regard, Mr Trump has shown little reluctance in jumping to conclusions about violent incidents when it appears Islamic extremism is at play.

Upon further questioning, it became clear that the president views the Charlottesville unrest as far from a one-sided affair. Mixed in among the white supremacists, he said, were some good, peaceful people protesting the removal of a statue (of a man who led an army against the US government). And there were plenty of violent individuals among the counter-protesters as well.

When the president on Saturday said there were “many sides” to blame, he meant it.

If Donald Trump’s initial handling of the fallout from Charlottesville started a political fire, on Tuesday the president poured on a bucket of kerosene and danced around the flames.

Source: BBC

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