Aug 15, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Trump compares Washington, Jefferson to Robert E. Lee

President Trump equivocated George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with Confederate leaders like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson due to the former presidents' slave ownership.

Worth noting: Right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham appeared on Fox & Friends — one of the staples of Trump's media diet — this morning, making a similar point by wondering when "the Communist Party of the United States" might march on Washington and Jefferson's homes at Mount Vernon and Monticello.

Trump this afternoon, part 1: "And you take a look at some of the groups and you see -- and you'd know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you're not, but many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you all -- you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

Trump this afternoon, part 2: "George Washington was a slaveowner. Was George Washington a slaveowner? So will George Washington will now lose his status? Are we gonna take down — excuse me — are we gonna take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we gonna take down the statue? Because he was a major slaveowner. Now are we gonna take down his statue? So you know what? It's fine. You're changing history, you're changing culture."

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