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Donald Trump digs deeper into race debate, says US culture 'ripped apart' by statue removals

Washington: President Donald Trump said on Thursday the history and culture of the United States were being "ripped apart" by the removal of statues memorializing the Confederate era.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," Trump wrote on Twitter.

"You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson -- who's next. Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!"

Trump's latest tweets pile more fuel on a political firestorm ignited by the president's attempts to shift blame for deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to anti-racism counter-protesters.

File image of Donald Trump. AP

File image of Donald Trump. AP

The "Unite the Right" rally, which drew hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and white supremacists marching to anti-Semitic chants, was nominally prompted by plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee from a Charlottesville park.

Lee and Jackson, another Confederate commander during the 1861-1865 Civil War, have long been celebrated by many white southerners as icons of a lost cause, and reviled by other Americans as traitorous defenders of a slave-holding south.

"The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" Trump said in a third tweet.

Published Date: Aug 17, 2017 19:51 PM | Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 19:51 PM

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