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MSNBC’s Ari Melber Mocks Tucker Carlson for ‘Ridiculous Observation’ on Slavery

In his off-the-rails press conference in which he blamed “both sides” for the Charlottesville violence, President Donald Trump wanted to know when would the tearing down of Confederate monuments end, asking if George Washington was next. In the president’s mind, since both Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slaveholders, activists might begin demanding those monuments to be taken down soon.

While White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reportedly loved that line, it appears that Trump may not have come up with it on his own. During a segment on MSNBC’s The Beat today, host Ari Melber highlighted that the president could have been parroting what he’d heard on Fox News in recent days, playing a number of clips that sounded remarkably like what Trump said at his presser. (Media Matters has made the same observation.)

Melber then highlighted a particular segment from Fox News, this one featuring host Tucker Carlson making the argument that while slavery is evil, it has only recently been outlawed, and many great men and contributors to society owned slaves.

“Look at the right side of this Tucker Carlson screen,” Melber stated, showing a screen capture of Carlson’s segment. “Where he makes the ridiculous observation that Plato and the Aztecs owned slaves.”

After waiting a beat, he added, “You know what, that’s true. Plato also lived 2,300 years ago.”

Melber went on to say that the “clumsy attempt at amateur history” is nothing more than a “simple debate trick” to get the other side to defend something embarrassing when your position itself is embarrassing, such as defending Confederate monuments.

“But the violence in Charlottesville was not about Aztec slavery,” Melber concluded. “It was about neo-Nazis defending a white supremacist statue.”

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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