Speaking with Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito on Monday, President Donald Trump pondered the Civil War, and debated whether or not President Andrew Jackson could have done more to avoid the conflict.
Trump compared his 2016 election and political methods to those of Jackson and suggested that the seventh president could have avoided a civil war entirely.
“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump told Zito during their interview. “He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’
“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?” Trump mused. “People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
Trump later compared himself to Jackson, and noted that his campaign and subsequent win was similar to the seventh president’s electoral win.
“My campaign and win was most like Andrew Jackson, with his campaign,” Trump said. “And I said, ‘When was Andrew Jackson?’ It was 1828. That’s a long time ago.
“He had a very, very mean and nasty campaign,” Trump noted. “Because they said this was the meanest and the nastiest. And unfortunately, it continues.”
This is not the first time the President compared himself to Jackson.
Trump, who in March spoke outside of Jackson’s Tennessee estate, said, “It was during the revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite. Does that sound familiar?” seeming to reference difficulties he faced during his campaign and in presidency thus far.
Since the news of the President’s most recent Civil War comments broke, Trump has come under fire on social media and has been eviscerated by Twitter users for his “ignorance” and lack of understanding, which prompted many to question whether or not the president had retained basic U.S. history.
See some of Twitter’s reactions below.
Andrew Jackson owned slaves.
Pretty sure he wouldn’t have wanted to “work out” the Civil War.
*COUGH* Trail of Tears *COUGH* https://t.co/crUOl5ef5a
— Holly #TheResistance (@AynRandPaulRyan) May 1, 2017
Andrew Jackson was a slaveholding plantation owner. He also died 16 years before the Civil War began. This Trump answer is astonishing. https://t.co/wdKNkUOx1t
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 1, 2017
Now everyone’s #shocked that Trump knows nothing about the Civil War or US History 101. Let’s make this easy: Trump knows nothing, period.
— John Schindler (@20committee) May 1, 2017
Golly. I wonder who at the White House gave Trump the impression Andrew Jackson could’ve handled the Civil War better than Lincoln…
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) May 1, 2017
The punchline is not the Jackson comment, but Trump’s self congratulation on being 1st to ask why the Civil War had to happen
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 1, 2017
Former President Jackson was a documented slaveowner, and died in 1845 — 16 years before the start of the Civil War — which would likely have made things difficult for the former president to have any opinion on the war.
Hear Trump’s interview with Zito in the audio below.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) May 1, 2017