Presidential historian Jon Meacham said Tuesday that President Donald Trump told him a year ago that he could have negotiated a deal to avert the Civil War. He went on to characterize Jackson's campaign as "very very mean and nasty", while calling the man himself a "very tough person" with "a big heart".
President Donald Trump, shown speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conferenceon Feb. 24, discussed the Civil War in a radio interview that airs on Monday afternoon.
However, Trump clarified his comments Monday night and said he didn't actually say or think Jackson was alive during the Civil War, but he stood by his broader claim that the seventh president of the US could have prevented the violence if he would have been alive at the time.
The president of the United States reveals that he does not understand the most basic truths behind the war that birthed America as it exists today. 'Why could that one not been worked out?'
Trump was analogizing his insurgent 2016 presidential campaign to that of former President Andrew Jackson, whom he has praised repeatedly, when the conversation turned to the Civil War.
In an interview Monday with CBS News in the Oval Office of the White House, Trump was asked whether he still stood by the wiretapping claim, which US national security officials and congressional investigators have said did not occur. He added: "It was during the [American] Revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite".
Countless historians have delved into the war's origins - the South's desire to maintain a system of slavery is widely considered to be the primary cause of the four-year conflict. Jackson amassed much of his wealth due to the free labor, as they harvested cotton on the land surrounding Jackson's Tennessee home, The Hermitage. "1 word answer: Slavery", she tweeted. "He said, 'There's no reason for this, '" Trump said.More news: Melissa McCarthy adds spice (and Spicer) as host of 'SNL'
American history, however, will not be that subject.
Trump's statement is also being eviscerated by some because of its portrait of Jackson as a guy with a "big heart", when he was the one who called for an Indian Removal Act and eventually signed one into law. But Trump, who earlier this year placed a wreath at Jackson's grave site in the state of Tennessee and hung a picture of him in his office, seemed ill-informed about the timing of Jackson's life. "And unfortunately it continues", Trump said.
Of course, President Abraham Lincoln attempted to make a deal with slave states to avert the Civil War.
The Atlantic's David Frum referenced comments the president previously made, suggesting Frederick Douglass is alive.
During Jackson's presidency, southern planters - especially in SC - threatened to "nullify" a federal law, the Tariff of 1828, also known as the "Tariff of Abominations".
And while the fact that a sitting president actually thought running an entire country would be "easy" is breathtakingly alarming at every possible level, it turns out Trump also knows jackshit about American history. "He drew the line in letting it expand westward".
Inskeep: People have asked this question regularly since 1861.