President Donald Trump on Thursday again criticized recent decisions to remove Confederate monuments across the country, calling the moves “so foolish” and the monuments irreplaceable.
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump wrote in the first of a series of tweets. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.”
He echoed comments he made at a fiery news conference in New York earlier this week, in which he wondered whether monuments remembering former presidents George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would be next to fall.
“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 president wrote.
His comments came amid continued criticism from across the political spectrum over his insistence that “both sides” were to blame for deadly, racially-charged violence that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Police said 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed Saturday during a counterprotest of a rally organized by white supremacists. The rally was aimed at protesting the removal of a Confederate statue from the city’s Emancipation Park.
Authorities arrested James Alex Fields Jr., 20, on charges including second-degree murder and malicious wounding in connection with Heyer’s death. Police said he slammed a car into two stopped vehicles and rammed counterprotesters. Fields, from Ohio, participated in the rally and was described by a former high school teacher as a fan of Adolf Hitler.