The most off-the-rail moments from Trump's tirade in Trump Tower
"There were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee"
Just one day after President Trump finally condemned white nationalists and neo-Nazis, he backpedaled in a combative press conference. When peppered with questions from reporters on Tuesday about the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, Trump defended the protesters and returned to his earlier tack of pinning some of the blame on the counter-protesters.
"I think there's blame on both sides," Trump said, insisting that "not all of those people were neo-Nazis" or "white supremacists" and claiming that left-wing protesters "came violently attacking the other group."
Below are nine particularly memorable moments from Trump's tirade in Trump Tower.
1. On why it took him so long to directly condemn white nationalists:
"Unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts."
2. On whether the incident in which a man drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one, could be defined as "domestic terrorism":
"You can call it terrorism, you can call it murder, you can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as, the fastest one to come up with a good verdict."
3. On the Friday night protest, during which participants marched with torches, chanting, "Jews will not replace us."
"I looked the night before, if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones."
4. On "the other group":
"You had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers. You see them come with the black outfits, and with the helmets, and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad people in the other group too."
5. On why it's not all the alt-right's fault:
"What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right?"
6. On why it's problematic to take down Confederate monuments:
"George Washington was a slave owner ... so will George Washington, now, lose his status?"
Later: "How about Thomas Jefferson?"
7. On how the press is being unfair to the participants in the white nationalist rally:
"You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest — and very legally protest — because, I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit."
8. On why this was bad, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions:
"There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country."
9. On whether he would visit Charlottesville in the aftermath of the rallies:
"I own a house in Charlottesville. Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville?"
Meanwhile, Trump's newly minted Chief of Staff John Kelly stood by looking less than thrilled. Becca Stanek