President Trump calls removal of Confederate monuments 'so foolish'

President says monuments beautify cities

By CNN , Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

BRIDGEWATER, New Jersey - President Donald Trump on Thursday denounced the removal of monuments to Confederate figures as "sad" and "so foolish," days after white supremacists and neo-Nazis took to Charlottesville, Virginia, to violently protest the planned removal of a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," Trump said in a series of tweets. "You can't change history, but you can learn from it."

 

Trump's tweets came as he continued to face criticism for comments he made on Tuesday in which he blamed "both sides" of the Charlottesville protests -- the white supremacists and those protesting against them -- for the violence that took hold of that small Virginia city. While Trump condemned the neo-Nazi and white supremacists who protested, he insisted there were "very fine people" among those protesting the removal of Lee's statue in Charlottesville.

Echoing his comments on Tuesday, Trump tweeted Thursday that the removal of Confederate statues could lead to the removal of monuments to the US's founding fathers.

"Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!" Trump tweeted. "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!"

The tweets came as Trump continued to face a torrent of criticism for his remarks Tuesday, with several prominent Republicans in Congress admonishing Trump for his response.

Houston officers keep watchful eye over Confederate monuments

A Houston police officer sat watch at the roundabout in Hermann Park across the street from the statue of Sam Houston on Thursday.

Police officers were also spotted near “The Spirit of the Confederacy” monument in Sam Houston Park downtown.

Police would not comment on their plans or operations.

However, Trump had a lot to say Thursday, tweeting, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments."

"When we talk about our history, whose history are we talking about erasing?” asked Rice University associate professor Caleb McDaniel.

He said monuments are rarely an accurate, well-rounded version of history.

“I don't worry too much about taking the statues down, erasing our history. There's too much good historical work being done by historians. By local historical societies. By professional organizations," McDaniel said.

Trump's tweets continued saying, "You can't change history, but you can learn from it."

At least two local groups called for the removal of the Confederate statue in Sam Houston Park.

It has stood there for more than 100 years.

Black Lives Matter plan a march in the park at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called for peace.

“President Trump’s remarks this week regarding the violence in Charlottesville and the removal of Confederate monuments have divided us -- not united us. Displays of white supremacy are never acceptable and should be condemned. Dark times in our history should not be whitewashed and certainly not revered,” Rep. Garnet F. Coleman (D-Houston) said.

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