David Duke Thanks Trump’s ‘Honesty & Courage’ Blaming ‘Alt-Left’ for Charlottesville Violence

The former KKK grand wizard is happy with the president’s Tuesday press conference

Last Updated: August 15, 2017 @ 8:49 PM

White nationalist leader and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke is thanking President Donald Trump for saying that “both sides” share blame for the violence at white supremacist rallies over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa,” Duke tweeted shortly after Trump took questions from reporters Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York  following a speech about infrastructure.

Trump repeated his statement from Saturday, saying that there was blame on “many sides” for violence that claimed three lives and results in dozens of injuries.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the alt-right. Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump told a reporter after asking her to define the term “alt-right” for him. He kept at his point, saying the counter-protesters came “charging” at the white supremacist groups “with clubs in their hands.”

“I watched those [rallies more] closely than you people watched it,” Trump said. “You had a group on 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.”

When another reporter asked Trump if the “alt-left” is the same as neo-Nazis, he responded: “All of those people, excuse me, I’ve condemned neo-Nazis, I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee.”

The so-called “Unite the Right” rally was organized by Jason Kessler, a well-known “pro-white” nationalist who founded a group aiming to “protect the West” from “rampant immigration.”

Trump also declined to call the deadly vehicular attack on counter-protesters “terrorism” when reporters pushed. A participant in the rallies drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring 19 others. Trump called the driver a “murderer,” but said he didn’t want to get into “legal semantics.”

“Alt-Left” quickly started trending on Twitter after the press conference, bring several who agree with Duke out of the woodwork. It also spurred a flurry of reaction condemning Trump’s words.