Donald Trump has described the removal of Confederate statues throughout the United States as "sad."

The statue of General Robert E.Lee, who commanded forces of the pro-slavery confederacy during the US Civil War, was at the centre of the violent clashes between white supremacists and anti-fascism protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend.

After the violence in Charlottesville, the mayors of several US cities, including Baltimore and New Orleans, ordered that statues and monuments honouring Confederate leaders were taken down.

Baltimore's mayor, Catherine Pugh, said she asked authorities to remove the statues as to her they "represented pain."

"Not only did I want to protect my city from any more of that pain, I also wanted to protect my city from any of the violence that was occurring around the nation," she told the New York Times.

The President has been criticised by both Democrats and Republicans for refusing to denounce white supremacists for the clashes in Virginia.

During a press conference on Monday (14 August), Trump drew a moral equivalency between both sides and said that the so-called 'alt-left' were just as much to blame for the violence as the alt-right.

On Thursday (17 August), Trump tweeted: "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! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" he wrote.