A Combative Trump Criticizes ‘Alt-Left’ Groups in Charlottesville By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MAGGIE HABERMANAUG. 15, 2017 Continue reading the main storyShare This Page Share Tweet Email More Save 12

President Trump on Tuesday insisted that he did nothing wrong on Saturday when he declined to specifically condemn Nazi and white supremacist groups, asserting that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”

In a long, combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower, the president repeatedly rejected a torrent of bipartisan criticism for waiting several days before naming the right-wing groups and placing blame on “many sides” for the violence that ended with the deaths of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd.

Mr. Trump repeated that assertion on Tuesday, criticizing “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.”

“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Mr. Trump said. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

Mr. Trump defended those gathered in the park to protest the statue’s removal, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

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