Trump on Columbus statues: 'What's next? Has to be stopped'

Trump on Columbus statues: 'What's next? Has to be stopped'
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President Trump on Tuesday criticized the idea of removing statues of Christopher Columbus and called for the preservation of history.

"We believe we should preserve our history, not tear it down," Trump said Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation's annual President's Club gathering.

"Now they are even trying to destroy statues of Christopher Columbus. What's next? Has to be stopped, it's heritage."

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Earlier this year, a statue of Columbus was defaced in New York, according to the New York Daily News. Protesters also called earlier this month for the removal of a Columbus statue in Manhattan.

There have also been debates across the country about removing monuments and statues to leaders and generals of the Confederacy.

Trump has in the past defended Confederate statues. In August, he said it was "sad" the "history and culture" of the U.S. is "being ripped apart" by the removal of Confederate statues and monuments.

Columbus Day has become a point of controversy, with a number of communities choosing to instead celebrate "Indigenous People's Day."

Trump earlier this month did not mention Native Americans in his first proclamation of Columbus Day statement.