NEW YORK — President Donald Trump was greeted by protesters when he returned to his home at Trump Tower in New York City for the first time since being sworn in.
It was one of several demonstrations around the country denouncing this weekend’s rally in Charlottesville, Virginia during which white supremacists clashed with counter protestors, leaving one person dead.
“I cannot stand for Nazis in my country,” one person said.
New reports suggests the man who allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of activists in Charlottesville, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr, expressed a fondness for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and was no stranger to police.
Records released to CNN affiliate WLWT showed that officers were called to his mother’s home nine times between 2010 and 2013 for a variety of incidents. At least two of those were for violence against his disabled and wheelchair-bound mother.
In 2011, he was accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a knife. During another incident, he allegedly hit her in the head and locked her in a bathroom after she told him to stop playing video games.
She told police he was on medication for anger-related issues.
Friends and former teachers told the media Fields had “outlandish, very radical beliefs.”
“It was quite clear he had some really extreme views and maybe a little bit of anger behind them,” said Derek Weimer, who teaches social studies at Randall K. Cooper High School. “Feeling, what’s the word I’m looking for, oppressed or persecuted. He really bought into this white supremacist thing. He was very big into Nazism. He really had a fondness for Adolf Hitler.”
Weimer said he had Fields in classes when the young man was a junior and a senior. They built a good rapport and could discuss topics without the student getting angry, Weimer said.
“I took every opportunity I could to really separate him from that garbage and [he and other teachers] weren’t successful,” Weimer said.
One of those opportunities arose in a class called America’s Modern Wars.
“I had many opportunities come up where I could use those opportunities to clearly show James that these are real historical examples,” Weimer said. “I would do all that to show him how wrong these views were, how evil they were, how white supremacism and Nazism, there is nothing about our country that has to do with those things.”
One of his classmates who took German classes with Fields told CNN affiliate WCPO, that Fields “would proclaim himself as a Nazi … it was not a secret.”
Principal Mike Wilson said he remembered Fields as a quiet and reserved student who graduated in 2015.
In August of that year, Fields was inducted into the Army but he left active duty in December 2015. A spokeswoman for the Army said he failed to meet training standards.
“As a result he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training,” Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson said.
On Monday, Fields appeared in court where he was officially charged with injuring 19 and in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
President Trump, who was criticized for not immediately condemning, specifically, white supremacy groups, did so on Monday, but it didn’t stop three high profile members of the President’s American Manufacturing Council from resigning in response to the delay.
CBS News is reporting President Trump may also be set to shake up, yet again, his inner circle. Two sources close to the White House stated Steve Bannon may soon be out of a job.
The President’s chief strategist brought a nationalist message to the White House and once ran the right-wing news service, Breitbart.