U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said both sides were to blame in the clashes in Virginia over the weekend, noting that protesters on the left violently attacked white nationalists rallying against a decision to remove a Confederate statue.
Trump was sharply criticized for his initial comments blaming "many sides" for the violence in Charlottesville.
Speaking on Tuesday at a press conference from Trump Tower, the President explained he needed to "know the facts" before specifically calling out racist groups.
“I didn't wait long,” Trump said, according to The Hill. “I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement.”
"The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement, but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts,” he continued.
"And it's a very, very important process to me. And it's a very important statement. So I don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts.”
"They came at each other with clubs ... it was a horrible thing to watch," Trump said, adding that left-wing protesters "came violently attacking the other group."
“What about the alt-left that came charging the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? As far as I’m concerned that was a horrible day.”
“You had a group one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that but I’ll say it right now,” stressed Trump.
One suspect, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., has been arrested on suspicion of driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19.