Trump was not supposed to take any questions before heated exchanges about white nationalist rally

Key Points
  • White House officials did not know President Donald Trump would take questions at Trump Tower on Tuesday, according to NBC News.
  • Trump eventually doubled down on blaming "both sides" for the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia during a series of heated exchanges.
Trump: You had very fine people, on both sides

White House officials did not expect a news conference in Trump Tower on Tuesday.

The president was slated to take no questions, but he "went rogue," a White House official told NBC News.

Instead of a brief statement about infrastructure, White House advisors saw their boss bicker with reporters and lay the blame on "both sides" for violence at a white nationalist rally. Trump claimed that not all participants in the rally were bad and were treated "unfairly" by the press.

White House aides, particularly chief of staff John Kelly, appeared uncomfortable during the exchanges.

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.

WATCH: Trump casts equivalence between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters

Trump casts an equivalence between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters: Harwood