US President Donald Trump has again blamed both sides for the violent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one protester dead and others injured.
In a statement on Monday, he had condemned white supremacists.
But in New York on Tuesday he also blamed left-wing supporters for charging at the “alt-right”.
He also defended the time it took to make his statement, saying he had wanted to establish all the facts.
Mr Trump had been accused over the weekend of failing to condemn the far right specifically.
Heather Heyer, 32, died and 19 others were hurt when a car was driven into people protesting against a far-right march in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Mr Trump said that the car driver was a disgrace to himself and his country.
The whole response to Charlottesville has been a prime display of the hyper-polarized cultural environment we are currently in. The same people who say that we must take a nuanced view and response of phenomena like Islamist Terrorism or Black Lives Matter, which we must, are enforcing a rigid binary response to Charlottesville. What we are supposed to do, according to the media and the Left, is categorically condemn the white nationalists as the bad guys here and that’s it. Any suggestion of a more complicated story than “racist white Americans caused a riot that killed people” is to be included among those racists.
Trump is trying to present a more comprehensive response to what happened. It appears that we had at least four broad groups at work here. First, we had white nationalist and Nazi bigots. Second, we had Antifa anarchists and communist provocateurs. Third, we had relatively normal people protesting the removal of Confederate statues and purging of Southern history. Fourth, we had relatively normal people protesting the racists white nationalists and Nazis.
Primarily, we had the first and second groups enter into the day with the intention to provoke violence and they succeeded. There’s a lot of fault to go around and it is possible to condemn the Nazis and white nationalists with all possible vigor and still condemn the actions of the Antifa movement which has repeatedly sparked destruction and violence. One does not detract from the other.
The side issues around this are also worth exploring. Were the police properly deployed to keep the competing protests separated? It appears that the driver of the car was on anti-psychotic drugs. We have seen that be related to violence before. Are we properly helping the mentally ill?
Instead of focusing on whether or not Trump sufficiently condemned the white nationalists (he did), wouldn’t it be a more useful exercise to try to understand the undercurrents of our culture that led to what happened in Charlottesville?