President Donald Trump on Tuesday adamantly defended his response to the deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia at a chaotic news conference, backing again into the blame of "both sides" that put him into bipartisan hot water.
Bickering with reporters, some of whom he called "fake news," Trump defended the protest that led to the violence and contended that some of the individuals carrying torches at the white nationalist rally did not have bad intentions.
"You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly," Trump said at Trump Tower in New York.
Trump repeatedly stressed that the rally started over the potential removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Asking the rhetorical question of whether Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, he asked, "Are we going to take down Thomas Jefferson's statue?"
The bizarre display will likely do little to stanch the bipartisan criticism heaped on Trump on Saturday after he condemned violence "on many sides." The White House attempted to limit the damage Monday, when Trump made a statement condemning neo-Nazis, white supremacists and KKK members.
Scuffles broke out between participants in the white nationalist rally and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. A suspected white nationalist allegedly later rammed a car into a group of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19 people.
On Friday, the torch-bearing rally participants chanted phrases like "you will not replace us" and "Jew will not replace us."