"So foolish" - Trump slams removal of Confederate monuments

Senator Cory Booker is introducing a bill to remove statues from the US Capitol building

 "So foolish" - Trump slams removal of Confederate monuments

A monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland lies on a flatbed trailer after it was taken down. Picture by: Jerry Jackson/Zuma Press/PA Images

Donald Trump has spoken out against the removal of "beautiful" Confederate monuments in the US.

The debate around the monuments & flags has become a significant source of tension in some US states in recent years.

Many activists claim the symbols honour people who supported slavery during the US Civil War, as well as centuries of political & social divisiveness.

Supporters of the monuments, meanwhile, argue that they symbolise Southern ideals. 

The controversy has intensified in recent days, in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville which left one woman - 32-year-old Heather Heyer - dead.

Clashes broke out after white nationalist gathered to demonstrate against the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee and the renaming of two parks named after Lee & his fellow general Stonewall Jackson.

Those opposed to the monuments, meanwhile, have intensified their efforts to have them removed - with officials in Baltimore moving swiftly to have four controversial statues taken down overnight on Tuesday / Wednesday. 

The pedestal where the Roger B. Taney Statue stood is seen after being removed in Baltimore, Maryland. Taney was a Marylander who was the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery. Picture by: Shen Ting/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Protesters in Durham, North Carolina made headlines after tearing down a monument engraved with the phrase 'The Confederate States of America'.

Now, repeating and expanding on remarks made during his extraordinary press conference on Tuesday, President Trump has taken to Twitter to condemn the removals.

He suggested that 'beauty is being taken out of our cities' that will 'never be able to be comparably replaced'.

He argued: "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.

"Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!"

Trump's comments came only hours after Democratic Senator Cory Booker indicated he would be introducing a bill to try and remove Confederate monuments from the US Capitol building in Washington DC.

According to CNN, each state in the US is allowed honour two of their most prominent residents in the Capitol - and "at least nine states have chosen to honor those with ties to the Confederacy".