This file photo taken on August 15, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump speaking to the press about protests in Charlottesville after his statement on the infrastructure discussion in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York.
/ AFP / JIM WATSON
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U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday decried the removal of monuments to the pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy, echoing white nationalists and refusing to let go of a controversy that has inflamed U.S. racial tensions and threatens to further derail his policy agenda. As a crisis deepened over Trump's response to violence last Saturday in the Virginia college town of Charlottesville arising from a white nationalist protest against the removal of a Confederate statue, the White House knocked down rumors that Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn might resign. U.S stocks were rattled amid speculation that Cohn would quit over Trump's comments on the Charlottesville events and were down in afternoon trading. Trump blamed the violence on not just the white nationalist rally organizers but the counterprotesters, and said there were "very fine people" among both groups.After Trump blasted Graham on Twitter, the senator who was one of Trump's rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination fired back.The previous day, Graham had said Trump's remarks at Tuesday's news conference had suggested "moral equivalency" between the white nationalists and the anti-racism demonstrators, and called on the U.S. president to use his words to heal Americans.
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