Defiant Trump renews criticism of ‘both sides’ in protest

President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

NEW YORK (AP) – President Donald Trump is defiantly blaming “both sides” for the weekend violence between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators in Virginia and rebuffing the widespread criticism of his handling of the emotionally-charged protests.

Trump addressed reporters Tuesday in New York.

In his remarks, he showed sympathy for the fringe group’s efforts to preserve Confederate monuments.

In doing so, Trump used the bullhorn of the presidency to give voice to the grievances of white nationalists, and aired some of his own. His remarks amounted to a rejection of the Republicans, business leaders and White House advisers who earlier this week had pushed the president to more forcefully and specifically condemn the KKK members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who took to the streets of Charlottesville.

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