President Trump in a late-night tweet Wednesday said “It is very sad to see States allowing roving gangs of wise guys, anarchists & looters, many of them having no idea what they are doing, indiscriminately ripping down our statues and monuments to the past.”

“Some are great works of art, but all represent our History & Heritage, both the good and the bad,” he continued. “It is important for us to understand and remember, even in turbulent and difficult times, and learn from them. Knowledge comes from the most unusual of places!”

The President’s tweet followed his comments at a Rose Garden press conference earlier in the day when he suggested that demonstrators were aiming to take down statues of U.S. founders and Jesus Christ, in an apparent reference to progressive activist Shaun King’s calls to remove those monuments.

“Now they’re looking at Jesus Christ. They’re looking at George Washington. They’re looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson,” Trump said. “Not going to happen. Not going to happen. Not as long as I’m here.”

Earlier this week, Trump vowed to defend the statues by prepping an executive order to reinforce current laws that place penalties on those who vandalize monuments. The president tweeted early Tuesday that those who deface, damage or destroy federal monuments and statues should receive “up to 10 years in prison.”

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