President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday and decried efforts to remove Confederate monuments and statues.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
National debate is raging over the future of Confederate artifacts following recent violence over them in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump on Tuesday criticized efforts to remove the controversial symbols, casting it as slippery slope for preserving U.S. history.
“They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of [Confederate General] Robert E. Lee,” he said, referencing white nationalists in Charlottesville last weekend.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee,” Trump continued. “I noticed that [Confederate General] Stonewall Jackson is coming down.”
“I wonder is it [former Presidents] George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
White nationalists descended upon Charlottesville last Friday to protest the removal of a statue honoring Lee there.
The situation turned violent the following day when a car drove into a crowd of protesters opposing their demonstration.
One person died following the incident, while 19 others were wounded. Two Virginia state troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash linked to the unrest in Charlottesville.
Trump has faced sustained criticism for his response to the chaos, with many detractors noting his apparent reluctance to condemn the white nationalists in Charlottesville.
The president on Tuesday insisted that there is “blame on both sides” for last weekend’s turmoil in the Virginia city.
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the – as you say, the alt-right?” he asked a reporter at Trump Tower in New York City. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”
“What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs?” Trump continued. “Do they have any problems? I think they do.”
“I have condemned neo-Nazis. I have condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me.”
Critics argue that Confederate monuments are a painful reminder of the Confederacy’s practice of slavery and America’s subsequent racial tensions.
Advocates counter that the markers are an important part of U.S. history and honor those who died in the Civil War.