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BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — With prominent Republicans openly questioning his competence and moral leadership, President Donald Trump on Thursday burrowed deeper into the racially charged debate over Confederate memorials and lashed out at members of his own party in the latest controversy to engulf his presidency.

Out of sight, but still online, Trump tweeted his defense of monuments to Confederate icons — bemoaning rising efforts to remove them as an attack on America’s “history and culture.”

And he berated his critics who, with increasingly sharper language, have denounced his initially slow and then ultimately combative comments on the racial violence at a white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump was much quicker Thursday to condemn violence in Barcelona, where more than a dozen people were killed when a van veered onto a sidewalk and sped down a busy pedestrian zone in what authorities called a terror attack.

He then added to his expression of support a tweet reviving a debunked legend about a U.S. general subduing Muslim rebels a century ago in the Philippines by shooting them with bullets dipped in pig blood.

“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” Trump wrote.

Trump’s unpredictable, defiant and, critics claim, racially provocative behavior has clearly begun to wear on his Republican allies.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, whom Trump considered for a Cabinet post, declared Thursday that “the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to” in dealing with crises. And Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska tweeted, “Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period.”

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said Trump’s “moral authority is compromised.”

Trump, who is known to try to change the focus of news coverage with an attention-grabbing declaration, sought to shift Thursday from the white supremacists to the future of statues.

“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it,” he tweeted. “Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson — who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish. …

“Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he tweeted.

Trump met separately Thursday at his golf club in nearby Bedminster with the administrator of the Small Business Administration and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a longtime Trump supporter. Trump also prepared for an unusual meeting Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland with his national security team to discuss strategy for South Asia, including India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Vice President Mike Pence was cutting short a long-planned Latin America tour to attend the meeting.

Though out of public view, Trump sought to make his voice heard on Twitter as he found himself increasingly under siege and alone while fanning the controversy over race and politics toward a full-fledged national conflagration.

He dissolved two business councils Wednesday after the CEO members began quitting, damaging his central campaign promise to be a business-savvy chief executive in the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, rumblings of discontent from his staff grew so loud that the White House had to release a statement saying that Trump’s chief economic adviser wasn’t quitting. And the president remained on the receiving end of bipartisan criticism for his handling of the aftermath of the Charlottesville clashes.

On Thursday, he hit back hard — against Republicans.

He accused “publicity-seeking” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina of falsely stating Trump’s position on the demonstrators and called Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake “toxic” and praised Flake’s potential primary election opponent.

Graham said Wednesday that Trump “took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency” between the marching white supremacists and the people who had been demonstrating against them. Flake has been increasingly critical of Trump in recent weeks.

Pressured by advisers, the president had softened his words on the dispute Monday, two days after he had enraged many by declining to single out the white supremacists and neo-Nazis whose demonstration against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statute had led to violence and the death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville.

He returned to his combative stance on Tuesday — insisting anew during an unexpected and contentious news conference at Trump Tower that “both sides” were to blame.

Aides watching from the sidelines reacted with dismay and disbelief and privately told colleagues they were upset by the president’s remarks, though not upset enough for anyone to resign.

The resignation speculation around Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council and a Jew, had grown so intense by Thursday that the White House released a statement saying reports that Cohn was stepping down were “100 percent false.”

But not all of Trump’s aides were unhappy with his performance.

Adviser Steve Bannon’s job security in the White House has become tenuous — Trump offered only a “we’ll see” on Tuesday when asked if his chief strategist would remain in his post — but Bannon has been telling allies that the president’s news conference would electrify the GOP base.

And in a pair of interviews Wednesday, Bannon cheered on the president’s nationalist tendencies and suggested that a fight over Confederate monuments was a political fight he welcomes.

“The race-identity politics of the left wants to say it’s all racist,” Bannon told The New York Times. “Just give me more. Tear down more statues. Say the revolution is coming. I can’t get enough of it.”

___

Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Julie Bykowicz in Washington contributed to this report.

PHOTO: AP

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21 thoughts on “Donald Trump Says Confederate Statues Are Part Of “History”

  1. If its bad then why try to represent it as something good to be posted. If that’s the case then we should start posting statues all over America of that represent the bad things in America. Smh

  2. Allen Murphy on said:

    Yeah i got my drink my two step
    Its on,get the patron.
    Thats what it looks like hes doing
    His two step,after he done had his drink.

  3. Lone Wolf on said:

    Never mind my previous post. I forgot we like being where were are at in American society. Keep doing what we have been doing.Good bye.

  4. I don’t care what the intention were, if any symbol or sign becomes to represent something other than what I respected and appreciated it for, or believed it to mean then I would let it go, whether it was the hole cross, or the American flag.

  5. Lone Wolf on said:

    Once again, we African-Americans have fallen for a FAKE AND INSIGNIFICANT ISSUE spearheaded by White Democrats. Once all of the Confederate monuments have been removed and destroyed, I assure you our Black communities which are GOVERNED BY DEMOCRATS will still have: 1) the highest crime rates in the industrialized world 2) Our DEMOCRAT RUN inner-city public schools will still be the poorest performing in the industrialized world 3) We African-Americans will still have the highest unemployment rate since slavery 4) The foundation of African-American family will continue to rot as we rely on the government to raise and feed our children, and BET/MTV as their guide, with 75% of black children born our of wedlock. All the while we chase some Confederate boogieman. It was DONALD TRUMP that brought up all of these issues during the 1st presidential debate and he was quickly called and labeled a racist by the Democrats and shutdown for bringing up these real issues concerning the African-America community. We will never rise up if we continue to allow ourselves to be duped by the Democrats that just want our votes. After 50 years of voting Democrat we are still the door mat of the industrialized world. Just walk through any predominate black community in America and see what the Democrat have actually given us. BY THE WAY, I DIDN’T VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP.

  6. specialt757 on said:

    I agree John, people always find a way to spin something their way, that’s one reason I don’t view polls and statistics with high regards, they can be skewed on the side of the pollster and they don’t take everything into consideration. But when it comes to “deleting” their history, that will never happen. What happened yesterday is already in the past and can never be changed. The way the story is told, makes the difference between the truth and a lie and changing one word “history” to “heritage” doesn’t make it a true story.
    Just like how our “leaders” are white-washing black history, that don’t make it true and we need to be the ones to tell our story truthfully. Unfortunately, this generation and the next ones behind will never know the real truth and that’s the way white folks want it. Their treatment of blacks was beyond disgusting; they don’t even want to own up to it.
    That’s why every American should visit & tour the AAMHC in DC at least once and get a true picture of how things were for us, not the watered-down version from the public school system. Until I went there, I don’t even think I was ever told that the slave trade started over sugar. Greedy ass white bastards.

  7. Dr. Larry on said:

    Black unemployment fell one full percentage point since Trump has been our leader. Any comments on that unimportant news?

    • Passing Through! on said:

      Stupid ass, that’s due to President Obama, employment was already down & falling under Obama trump hasn’t been office long enough nor has done one damn thing legislative wise to fix anything to have an effect on the job numbers. Just like the illegal immigrant was down to it’s lowest in history under Obama but as soon as 45 took office he took credit for Obama’s work. He tried to take credit for gas prices that were already down under Obama. If anything the racist are probably hiring black people now that they have a racist in the white house. I know a lot of qualified black people were being passed over for jobs as a back lash to President Obama, the racist wanted to make him fail but didn’t succeed. And trump don’t give 2 shits about black people or black employment.

    • You really should shut the hell up with your deflection @ss. No changing the subject on this one, and no one is feeling you on some one point percentage drop when everyone knows it was PRESIDENT OBAMA that did all the hard work to get the unemployment numbers down. You should really go to that Klan site you love so much, and stay away from here because all you’re doing is showing how much of a fool you are.

  8. The hate people believe their iwn lies, and want us to as well. Removing a statue is not removing history. The history of the Confederacy will remain in the books. The new lie the racist tell in order to recruit people who voted for Trump is that, “the statues are being attacked and removed because people don’t like trump.”

    • Passing Through! on said:

      @JOHN,
      Yes, they believe their own lies an will get mad and call you a hate group or a racist if you tell them any different.

  9. americanize on said:

    How bout they put everything those confederates stood for on the monuments.Like black bodies hanging from trees and white folks smiling and taking pictures,how bout a black man chain to two horses and they rip him apart,how bout posted flyers advertising a lynching and hundreds of white men,women and children show up.The life of devils.

  10. Passing Through! on said:

    I really wish BAW would stop posting stories about trump. It’s the same repetitive bulls**t every damn day. He’s a racist just pure F**king stupid. All of the media outlets sould stop over killing on trump stories around the clock 24/7. How much more can you say about this fool. He’s has shown the world exactly who he is. Its’ time to move on a let him self destruct.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Yep, it’s just repetitive bs and I wish they would stop regurgitating it over and over. But at the same time it’s like a train wreck, you can’t help but watch, in this case hoping that #45 says “I RESIGN”, or “IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS BEGIN” those are the only headlines I would like to see right now.

      • Passing Through! on said:

        @specialt757,

        I agree, a complete train wreck! I did watch and read all of the trump stories in the beginning because I was waiting on him to be impeached and just for the simple fact I enjoy watching him FAIL & LOSE over and over and over again! Especially after the way racist treated President Obama. I’m still enjoying watching him fail, but the 45 stories are becoming overkill, after his response to what happened in Virginia what more can you say about him, that was by far is lowest moment.

      • specialt757 on said:

        “…that was by far his lowest moment”, yes it was, I knew he was a low-down dirty dog, but damn, no one has to wonder how low he can go. Grabbing women by the “lady parts” was a low moment, and just when you thought he couldn’t get any lower, Saturday happened.

      • @ Special & Passing, they can’t stop because every other day he tops what he’s done previously by doing something more stupid than the last. His days are numbered. No one can run a country without an administration. Elaine Chao and her dumb @ss saying “I stand by my man – both of them.” Dumb as a box of rocks. #45 is a racist and her asian @ss will not be saved. White Supremacists don’t like Asians either, just to be clear.

  11. The trumpster, doesn’t get out. We’re not going back to the Jim Crow era. I hope what I heard yesterday iis true. Donald trump will eventually resign. The sooner, the better. I’m looking forward to the breaking news stating that.

    • Diane, you’re doing a great job not feeding the animals.
      “trump resigns” would be the best headline news we’ve heard since Nov 8, 2016. I’m so praying that it happens soon.

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