Trump Doubles Down on Charlottesville Remarks, Calls Robert E. Lee a ‘Great General’

Trump Doubles Down on Charlottesville Remarks, Calls Robert E. Lee a ‘Great General’

Talk about going back to the poisoned well.

President Trump doubled down on his post-Charlottesville comments from 2017 on Friday morning as he departed the White House for the National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis. Prompted by a reporter who for some reason felt it necessary to bring up Trump’s claim that there were “very fine people” marching with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, the president who just a minute before called himself “a student of history” did not hold back.

“If you look at what I said, I answered that question perfectly,” he began. “I was talking about the people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general.”

He added, “Whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals” and claimed that he has talked to many generals at the White House who say Lee is their “favorite general.”

Robert E. Lee, who resigned from the American military to take over a rebellion trying to secede, and then lost the war, and whose family home was turned into the largest military cemetery in the country as a sort of punishment? That Robert E. Lee is the favorite general of America’s senior military leaders today? Okay.

On Twitter, reporter Jane Coaston of Vox pointed out that the Charlottesville march was always advertised as a white supremacist event under the rubric of “Unite the Right.” There was little to no talk about defending the Robert E. Lee statue from being torn down. Rather, it was used in posters as a sort of shibboleth representing the entire neo-Confederate/neo-Nazi/white nationalist movement:

And this is not exactly a list of “very fine people” who were confirmed ahead of time to be attending.

Watch the clip up top, via MSNBC.


Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.