Aside from generating an almost hourly assortment of scandals, the Donald Trump presidency has also maintained a fairly regular routine of morning Twitter tantrums. On most days ending in “y,” the president will log onto the social media platform while watching cable news, respond to the latest positive spins and negative criticisms on Fox & Friends and Morning Joe, and watch as the media reacts accordingly. Sure enough, Thursday morning Trump went from ridiculing fellow Republicans for their responses to his Charlottesville comments, to lashing out at the “foolish” removal of the country’s “beautiful” Confederate statues.
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he wrote. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
Ever since the protests and count-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent, public officials across the country have called for the removal of Confederate-era statues and monuments. Some in Durham, North Carolina took matters into their own hands on Monday and ripped one such statue down, resulting in several arrests. Meanwhile, the city of Baltimore quietly removed four monuments overnight, while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for the removal of all of his state’s monuments in an orderly fashion. Needless to say, Trump isn’t too pleased with this turn of events.
“[T]he beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced,” he concluded Thursday’s tweet storm with a third and final post (so far).
Despite the president’s doubling down on his “both sides” argument during Tuesday’s volatile press conference, he hasn’t always expressed such a problematic opinion about the history and heritage of the Confederacy. During the first moments of his presidential campaign in 2015, ABC News reports the New York real estate mogul agreed with the then-popular calls to remove Confederate flags from state grounds in the south. “I would take it down, yes,” he told reporters when asked about the matter. “I think they should put it in a museum and respect whatever it is you have to respect.”