Trump's stance on statues alienates Republicans

This article is more than 12 months old

BRIDGEWATER, N. J. /WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has on Thursday decried the removal of monuments to the pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy, echoing white nationalists and drawing stinging rebukes from fellow Republicans in a controversy that has inflamed racial tensions.

Mr Trump has alienated Republicans, corporate leaders and US allies, rattled markets and prompted speculation about possible White House resignations with his comments since Saturday's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which came in the aftermath of a white nationalist protest against the removal of a Confederate statue.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, questioned Mr Trump's capacity to govern.

"The President has not been able to demonstrate the ability or competence that he needs to be successful," said Mr Corker, whom Mr Trump had considered for the job of secretary of state. He said Mr Trump needed to make "radical changes".

Mr Trump unleashed attacks on two Republican senators, Mr Jeff Flake and Mr Lindsey Graham, in a series of Twitter posts yesterday, raising fresh doubts about his ability to work with lawmakers in his own party to win passage of his legislative agenda, which includes tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

He took aim at the removal or consideration for removal of Confederate statues and monuments in a long list of cities.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can't change history, but you can learn from it," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter, refusing to move past the controversy. - REUTERS

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