President Trump, whose comments about "both sides" being in the wrong at a violent white supremacist rally in Virginia last month caused an uproar, revisited his remarks on Thursday, saying he was right to call out the "bad dudes" in the anti-fascist (antifa) movement.
After counter-protester Heather Heyer, 32, was killed at the rally in Charlottesville, Trump condemned the violence, blaming "many sides." At a later press conference, Trump said "not all those people were neo-Nazis, not all those people were white supremacists. You had people that were very fine people on both sides." When asked Thursday about his meeting Wednesday at the White House with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), where he discussed the country's history of racism with the only black Republican senator, Trump told reporters they had a "great talk," and launched into a rehash of his earlier controversial comments.
"I think especially in light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what's going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that's what I said," Trump said, adding that "a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, 'Gee, Trump may have a point.' I said there's some very bad people on the other side also." A spokesperson for Scott told The Guardian that the senator had been "very, very clear" with Trump "about the brutal history surrounding the white supremacist movement and their horrific treatment of black and other minority groups. Rome wasn't built in a day, and to expect the president's rhetoric to change based on one 30-minute conversation is unrealistic."