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He criticised efforts in a growing number of US states, including Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, to remove statues honouring Confederate leaders.
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it,” Trump wrote.
The clashes flared in Charlottesville when a white nationalist rally called to protest the planned removal from a park of a statue of Confederate army commander General Robert E.
Lee was met with anti-racist counter-protesters. A woman was killed when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into the counter-protesters. Confederate symbols and monuments are viewed by many Americans as symbols of hate.
Trump had also expressed distaste for removing statues of Confederate commanders in a heated news conference on Tuesday during which he blamed the violence in Charlottesville on not just the white nationalist rally organisers but the counter-protesters, and said there were “very fine people” on both sides. His comments ignited a storm of criticism.
In a separate tweet, Trump called Flake “WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!” and appeared to endorse Kelli Ward, Flake's Republican challenger in his 2018 re-election race.
Graham responded with a statement telling the president to fix what he done.
“Because of the manner in which you have handled the Charlottesville tragedy you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country. For the sake of our Nation —as our President — please fix this,” Graham said.
Trump’s attacks on lawmakers in his own party could further complicate his ability to get key policy objectives such as tax cuts and pressing government spending bills through the Republican-controlled Congress when lawmakers return to Washington