President Trump claimed Thursday that people have warmed to his argument last month about "bad dudes" populating both sides of a white supremacist rally and the demonstrators who showed up in Charlottesville, Va. in early August to counter-protest them.
His comments in the days after the Charlottesville rally turned violent, resulting in the death of an anti-fascist protester, received widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle due to the equivalence he seemed to draw between the neo-Nazi marchers and those who opposed them.
One such critic of the comments was Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who met with Trump earlier this week in part to discuss why the president's statements were problematic.
"We had a great conversation," Trump said of his talk with the South Carolina Republican. "I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what's going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that's what I said."
Antifa, a name for a group of protesters who describe themselves as anti-fascists, has become the subject of scrutiny in recent weeks over their occasionally violent tactics and their tendency to wear masks to shield their identities.
"Now because of what's happened since then with Antifa. When you look at really what's happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.' I said there's some very bad people on the other side also," Trump told reporters on Air Force One. "But we had a great conversation."
Trump said he and Scott discussed a perceived lack of diversity on the president's staff and in the Cabinet.
"We did talk about that, yeah. It's something I do and I certainly would continue to do," Trump said. "We talked about that. I told him I would do it and he knows we've already done it. But I told him and I told him very strongly I like that."