Lamenting the taking down and "complete desecration" of a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia on Wednesday, former President Donald Trump warned that the "radical left" is working to destroy American "history and heritage."
"Just watched as a massive crane took down the magnificent and very famous statue of 'Robert E. Lee On His Horse' in Richmond, Virginia," Trump wrote in a statement from his Save America PAC. "It has long been recognized as a beautiful piece of bronze sculpture.
''To add insult to injury, those who support this 'taking' now plan to cut it into three pieces, and throw this work of art into storage prior to its complete desecration."
Hundreds of onlookers erupted in cheers and song as the 21-foot-tall bronze figure of the Civil War Confederate general was lifted off a pedestal and lowered to the ground Wednesday.
"Robert E. Lee is considered by many generals to be the greatest strategist of them all," Trump's statement continued. "President Lincoln wanted him to command the North, in which case the war would have been over in one day. Robert E. Lee instead chose the other side because of his great love of Virginia, and except for Gettysburg, would have won the war.
''He should be remembered as perhaps the greatest unifying force after the war was over, ardent in his resolve to bring the North and South together through many means of reconciliation and imploring his soldiers to do their duty in becoming good citizens of this country," the statement read.
The removal marked a major victory for activists seeking to remove historical connections to the Confederacy and slavery.
"Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the radical left, and we can't let that happen!" Trump's statement concluded. "If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don't have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!"
Trump issued a rebuke of "television generals" in an exclusive interview Tuesday night on Newsmax's "Rob Schmitt Tonight," saying that Chinese President Xi Jinping might even be inspired now to invade Taiwan because of the U.S. military generals' "incompetence and the weakness."
"It could happen, when he looks at Afghanistan, when he looks at the incompetence of our television generals," Trump told host Rob Schmitt. "We have great generals. When I took out ISIS, they were phenomenal, but you don't see them on television. They're not the television generals."
"When he sees what you and I are looking at, the incompetence and the weakness, it could happen."
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