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00:00:02
>> President Trump digging in on the debate over Confederate statues on Thursday, calling them beautiful and siding with white nationalists who say they should not be taken down. His blast on Twitter adding more pressure for cities that worry their Civil War monuments could serve as a rallying point for violent protests.
00:00:19
I'm Andy Sullivan in Alexandria, Virginia, one of dozens of cities across the South that's trying to figure out what to do about their Confederate statues and monuments after last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Alexandria decided to remove this statue after a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina church two years ago.
00:00:40
But as you can see the statue is still here. Aside from the usual bureaucratic hurdles, city leaders now must grapple with the possibility of violent protests in their streets if they decide to move ahead. That's not stopping cities like Baltimore from taking action, but it does add a new element of risk into what is already a devisive question.
00:01:00
Now these cities also must consider whether to defy the President. Trump saying quote, sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. Adding that quote, the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced.
00:01:20
NOISE] T
ose sentiments shared by white supremacists who last weekend protested Charlottesville's plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. Spurring violence that killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens. Extremist leaders now planning rallies in Boston, San Francisco and Lexington, Kentucky. City officials worried they could spark more violence, the protests ratcheting up a debate about whether the roughly 700 Confederate statues across the country are an important part of history or a glorification of racism.
00:01:50
Trump's comment sure to capture the attention of cities like Dallas and Atlanta that are considering removal, as well as places like Alexandria, that have decided to take down their statues, but haven't taken action yet. Alexandria is just a few miles from Washington, and it's also the home of Richard Spencer, a prominent white supremacist who was in Charlottesville last weekend, and remains unbowed in the wake of the violence.
00:02:13
But there's another hurdle as well, city leaders need the approval of the Republican-controlled state legislature, before they can move the statue to a history museum and rename near Jefferson Davis Highway. So the statue remains in place for now.