"You had a group on one side who 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,"
he said. "You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent." He added, "Not all of those people were white supremacists, not all of those people were neo-Nazis."
He then fervently defended people who were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, equating the Confederate General with George Washington and asking reporters rhetorically, "Is it George Washington next, is it Thomas Jefferson?"
He later said, "I'm not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I'm saying is this: You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side. There was a group on this side — you can call them the left, you've just called them the left — that came violently attacking the other group, so you can say what you want but that's the way it is."
Twitter is currently being flooded with responses to this conference from people on all sides. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan reiterated his stance against white supremacy shortly after Trump's remarks today:
We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 15, 2017
David Duke, meanwhile, had words of praise for the president:
One White House official has already told the press that the conference, which was supposed to be about American infrastructure, "wasn't our plan." Surprisingly, a conservative Fox News pundit may have summed up our feelings in the most succinct way possible: