- President Donald Trump tweeted in support of Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie, saying he could “save our great statues/heritage!”
- It was a reference to Confederate monuments.
- Virginia was home to the Charlottesville rallies in August, which turned violent and included a white supremacist running over and killing a counterprotester with his car.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that, should he win, Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie “might even save our great statues/heritage!”
It was a clear reference to the controversy over the removal of monuments to the Confederacy and its prominent members.
“Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #’s around, and fast,” Trump tweeted. “Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!”
Virginia was home to the violent white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville this August. The rally was planned as a protest to the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the University of Virginia’s campus. The white nationalists were met with counterprotesters, one of whom was mowed down by a white supremacist when he rammed his car into a crowd of people, running her over.
Trump had gone back and forth in his response to the violence, which became the biggest story in the country.
In a news conference days after the counterprotester, Heather Heyer, was killed, Trump said there was blame “on both sides.”
“And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either,” he said, adding that “you had some very bad people” marching with neo-Nazis, “but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
“You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name,” he continued, adding, “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”