Amid the fallout from President Trump's comments that "both sides" are to blame for the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, his personal lawyer John Dowd forwarded an email to friends and associates casting Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee as a "great man" and saying that the Black Lives Matter movement has been "totally infiltrated by terrorist groups."
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The email, first reported by the New York Times, was not written by Dowd -- but contained arguments promoting pro-Confederate propaganda. The email was sent to Dowd shortly after the president’s contentious press conference on Tuesday. Dowd later forwarded the email.
"The following information and argument President Trump should put forth concerning Charlottesville and General Robert E. Lee," wrote Jerome Almon, the author of the email.
Almon, who has promoted a number of conspiracy theories online and claims to have predicted several terrorist attacks, told ABC News in a phone interview that he is glad to see the information in the email he sent to Dowd "is getting out” and argued that Black Lives Matter is "just as racist as the KKK."
Almon, who is black, said his email was not meant to be sympathetic of the Confederacy but to make the case that Lee saved the country by surrendering at the war’s end rather than resorting to guerrilla tactics.
“Instead, [Lee] ordered the commander to tell his troops to go home, plant crops, and rebuild,” Almon said in the email he sent to Dowd, adding that “the protesters need to heed General Lee’s advice and go back to the ghettos and do raise their children.”
Almon's email praises Lee's actions ending the Civil War but doesn't go into the divisive issue of slavery.
“You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington, there literally is no difference between the two men,” Almon writes in the email, equating the actions taken by the nation’s first president in leading the Revolutionary War to the actions of Lee.
A source familiar with Dowd's actions says the lawyer was simply forwarding on an email and was not espousing the ideas that it contained. The source said that Dowd is now receiving "hate calls" and that the frenzy created over the email demonstrates how the political discourse has gone "off the rails."
Almon describes himself as supportive of Trump's policies and said that the president was correct on Tuesday when he said there was blame on both sides for the violence in Charlottesville.