The White House is defending President Donald Trump's controversial comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent," Trump said.
Just hours after Trump blamed both counterprotesters and protesters with the so-called alt-right for the deadly rally, the White House communications office reportedly sent a memo to Republican members of Congress.
According to media outlets that got a copy of it, the White House said Trump was "entirely correct" in saying "both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility."
Trump's comments Tuesday echoed his initial response.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides," Trump said.
Criticism after his comments Saturday and Tuesday was swift. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle condemned Trump for equating the actions of counterprotesters and white nationalists, white supremacists or neo-Nazis.
"This is terrible. The president of the United States needs to condemn these kinds of hate groups," Ohio Gov. John Kasich said.
The organizers of events which inspired & led to #charlottesvilleterroristattack are 100% to blame for a number of reasons. 1/6— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 15, 2017
The President of the United States just defended neo-Nazis and blamed those who condemn their racism and hate. This is sick.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 15, 2017
The violence in Charlottesville left at least one person dead and several others injured.