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President Trump defends Confederate statues

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 17, 2017 9:20 AM
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In this Aug. 14, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Washington D.C.) -- President Donald Trump says it's "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart" with the removal of Confederate statues and monuments around the country.

Local and state officials have renewed pushes to remove Confederate imagery from public property since the violence and death of a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white nationalist rally over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

Baltimore and other cities have already removed or covered up Confederate statues.

Trump in a Thursday tweet called them "our beautiful statues and monuments" and said "you can't change history, but you can learn from it."

"Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!" Trump continued. "The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham says Trump's stance on the Charlottesville, Virginia violence and death is garnering praise from "some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups" and called on him to "please fix this."

Trump and Graham have been going after each other since the president's statements on the violence and death of a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white nationalist rally.

Trump on Thursday called Graham a "publicity seeking" lawmaker and tweeted that Graham's contention that the president had said there was "moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists and people like Ms. Heyer" was a "disgusting lie."

Graham replied on Twitter soon thereafter that the president's statements on Charlottesville have garnered him "praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country."

"For the sake of our Nation -- as our President -- please fix this. History is watching us all," Graham tweeted.

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