Trump: Keep our ‘beautiful’ Confederate monuments
Julia Munslow August 17, 2017
Donald Trump, Confederate monuments. (Yahoo News photo-illustration; photos: AP, Denise Sanders/The Baltimore Sun via AP, Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
President Trump on Thursday bemoaned the removal of “beautiful” Confederate monuments across the U.S. after last weekend’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., where white supremacists rallied against the removal of Robert E. Lee statue.
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
Trump continued: “Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”
Last weekend’s violent Charlottesville protests rekindled the debate over Confederate monuments, which critics say symbolize the slavery issue that prompted the Southern secession. Baltimore, Lexington, Ky., and other municipalities have already started removing memorials.
Trump has repeatedly equated Lee, a Confederate general, with the Founding Fathers.
“So this week it’s Robert E. Lee,” the president said Tuesday in Trump Tower. “I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
But when asked if he thought Confederate statues should be removed, Trump said, “That’s up to a local town, community or the federal government, depending on where it is located.”
Trump, reeling from widespread criticism over such comments, has apparently decided such monuments should stay.