In tweets, Trump argued the "history and culture of our great country" is "being ripped apart" by the removal of "beautiful" statutes. He referenced efforts to remove monuments to Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson because of their fighting against the United States for slave-owning states in the Civil War.
"Who's next, Washington, Jefferson?" he asked. "So foolish!"
Trump: Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....
Trump: ...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...
Trump: ...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!
The comments may not help to stop the tide of bipartisan and corporate criticism of his response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that killed one woman and injured many others. Some GOP lawmakers have pointedly denounced Trump's comments since the rally. Top business executives on Wednesday disbanded an advisory council to Trump in order to rebuke his remarks.
In the chaotic news conference Tuesday, Trump blamed "both sides" — the white nationalist rally and protesters demonstrating against it — for the violence.
He also claimed that some of the people participating in the white supremacist rally — which featured swastikas, torches and chants of "Jews will not replace us" — were only against the removal of a statue of Lee.
"You have some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides," Trump said Tuesday. "You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name."