WASHINGTON (CN) – A personal attorney for President Trump purportedly forwarded an email to government officials and conservative journalists Wednesday equating Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with President George Washington, and claiming that terrorists have infiltrated the Black Lives Matter movement, according to reports.
The email circulated Wednesday by John Dowd – with the subject line “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” – was initially sent to Dowd by Jerome Almon, the New York Times reported.
The email cited by the Times said that no difference exists between Gen. Lee and President Washington.
The Times said the email states, “You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington.”
Almon, 52, is black and according to the New York Times runs several conspiracy websites. The email he sent to Dowd reportedly claimed that Gen. Lee and President Washington “both saved America” and that “both rebelled against the ruling government.”
The email surfaced the day after the president blamed “both sides” for violence that erupted after hundreds of white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Va. to protest the planned removal of a statue of Gen. Lee.
The gathering turned deadly after James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio allegedly plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotestors killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring scores more.
On Tuesday the president said not all people protesting the removal of the statue were white supremacists or neo-Nazis, claiming that “very fine people” exist on both sides.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Almon said “Black Lives Matter is just as racist as the Nazis or the KKK or anyone else.”
Almon’s email, passed along by Dowd to a senior Department of Homeland Security official, journalists at Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and roughly several dozen other recipients, claimed that terrorists are directing the Black Lives Matter group.
The group formed as part of a civil rights movement to protest police violence against African-Americans. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, it is not a hate group.
Almon said he sent the email to Dowd because he worried that Trump could be “taken down” over his response to the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend, the Post reported.
Almon told the Times in an interview that he sent the email to Dowd after speaking to him last week to offer damaging information on former FBI director James Comey, who Trump fired in May, and other information the Justice Department’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
When reached by the Times for comment, Dowd said: “You’re sticking your nose in my personal email?”
“People send me things. I forward them,” Dowd added.