President Trump at a wild, impromptu press conference from Trump Tower on Tuesday defended his initial response to the weekend violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., saying he needed to "know the facts" before specifically calling out racist groups.
“I didn't wait long,” Trump said. “I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement.
"The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement, but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the facts. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts.
"And it's a very, very important process to me. And it's a very important statement. So I don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts.”
Trump on Saturday blamed "many sides" for their role in the violence and came under fierce criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike for not being more unequivocal in condemning the white supremacist groups that had come to Charlottesville to rally.
He reiterated at times during his Tuesday remarks that there was violence from "alt-left" groups that had come to counter-protest the Nazi groups. One woman died and others were injured when a driver ran his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.