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Trump: Robert E. Lee was a "great general, whether you like it or not"

In this image, Trump walks outside.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Trump told reporters outside the White House on Friday that Robert E. Lee was "a great general, whether you like it or not," continuing his praise for a Confederate figure whose statue was at the heart of the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The big picture: Trump has long defended Confederate statues around the South, calling them part of "the history and culture of our great country" and comparing Lee to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in a 2017 tweetstorm just after the events in Charlottesville.

Go deeper: Dozens of Confederate statues have been removed since the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally