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Ex-RNC Chair: President Trump Has a ‘Clear Lack of Understanding of the History This Country’

In an interview with Salena Zito of the Washington Examiner aired on Monday, President Donald Trump wondered why there was a Civil War, and made some curious comments about his hero, “swashbuckler” Andrew Jackson.

After comparing his campaign style to the populist rhetoric of the seventh president, Trump suggested that “had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War.”

Trump has often expressed his affinity for Jackson, who died 16 years before the start of the Civil War, and has a portrait of the slave-owning president hanging in the Oval Office.

After playing a clip of the interview on her show, Andrea Mitchell asked Michael Steele, former head of the Republican National Committee and MSNBC political commentator, about the comments.

“I think he’s re-writing history,” Mitchell said.

Steele — jokingly — suggested the reason for the war was “probably because of the resistance by the North, and not so much what the South was doing.”

He then told Mitchell these historically-challenged comments are part of a larger pattern:

Again, there’s a clear lack of understanding of the history of this country, particularly with matters related to race and civil rights, and the Civil War.

Steele noted that while Jackson had certain strengths, including “cutting his own path” as a populist figure, when it comes to civil rights, “the policies behind the man, and the man himself, say something very different.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[image: screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Managing Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin