Top House Dem on Trump’s defense of Charlottesville comments: ‘He’s expressing what’s in his heart’

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Sunday offered his take on President Trump’s defense of his 2017 comments following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

“I think he’s expressing what’s in his heart,” Clyburn told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” referring Trump’s comments on Friday.

{mosads}Speaking to reporters outside of the White House, Trump defended his comments that there was “blame on both sides” at the violent rally, which was initially organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and quickly turned violent and led to the death of one counterprotester. 

“If you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly,” Trump said Friday. “I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general. Whether you like it or not, he was a great general.”

Clyburn pushed back on those comments, saying Sunday that while Lee was “a great tactician,” he was “not a great person.”

“Robert E. Lee was a slaveowner and a brutal slave master,” Clyburn said.

“Thankfully, he lost [the Civil War], and I find it kind of interesting the president is now glorifying a loser – he always said that he hated losers.”

Clyburn also pointed to Lee’s apparent post-Civil War opposition to Confederate symbols and monuments.

“At the end of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee asked all of his comrades to lay down their guns and to furl those Confederate Flags … and ‘put them in your attics,’” according to Clyburn.

“If the president is going to glorify Robert E. Lee, let’s at least be consistent about it.”

Trump made his most recent comments in response to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign announcement video, which focused on Charlottesville.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden

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