Trump Offers Lengthy Defense Of Confederate Monuments And Bases: Statues Were ‘A Gesture Of Healing’


President Donald Trump defended Confederate monuments and military bases named for Confederate generals, and claimed the statues were erected as “a gesture of healing” after the Civil War.

Trump did a trio of interviews for broadcast television conglomerates this week, including one for Sinclair Broadcasting Group in which reporter  Scott Thuman asked Trump about the monuments that have been torn down amid the George Floyd protests, and the proposed renaming of military bases.

“What do you think when you see these statues around the country being taken down, in some cases torn down?” Thuman asked.

“I don’t like it. I’m not one that likes it,” Trump said. “I think we have a history, we have a very, in fact I was just going to make a statement on that today unrelated to yours, we have a very very important heritage and history, and whether things are good or bad, you learn from it, and you know the expression is, you make the same mistake again if you forget your history. And I think it’s a very important thing, it’s a very important part of our history.”

“Seeing that, seeing what’s done, and you know in some cases I agree, they were Confederate soldiers, generals, but they were done after the war in order to heal,” Trump continued. “This was a gesture of healing.”

The statues that have been destroyed, and most of those which remain, were erected long after the war ended in order to bolster segregation during the Jim Crow era,

“So why not support changing the names of these bases if for so many people it does still cause angst, if they think it symbolizes discrimination, why not support that?” Thuman asked.

“Well we’re talking about two things, we’re talking about bases, we’re talking about monuments, the bases are a different thing,” Trump said. “Like fort Bragg, For many many years just many many decades, century, we had a name of Bragg. Nobody even knows the general, doesn’t know much about him. But we won World War I, we won World War II, we’ve done a lot of winning from these bases.”

Robert E. Lee, you look at I guess there are about 11 of them that are talking about changing the names. And I like winning. I like continuing to win,” Trump said. The Confederacy lost.

“And Fort Bragg is a very powerful name,” Trump continued. “I think it’s the largest military base anywhere in the world. And by the way, I’m not the only one, a lot of people don’t want, and the military would like to see it not changed. So we’ll see what happens but I would be against it.”

According to published reports, Army Secretary Andy McCarthy is open to renaming the bases, and the Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee passed an amendment that would do just that.

Watch the clip above via Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

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