Media Jumps on Trump's Praise for Robert E. Lee at Rally

It was given in the run-up to remarks about Ulysses S. Grant
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2018 6:48 AM CDT
Media Jumps on Trump's Praise for Robert E. Lee at Rally
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally endorsing the Republican ticket, Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Lebanon, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

President Trump was in Lebanon, Ohio, Friday night to rally for the state's gubernatorial and congressional candidates, but the AP reports much of his hour-plus speech focused on the highlights of his week, which included Brett Kavanaugh being seated on the Supreme Court and pastor Andrew Brunson's release from Turkey. As USA Today observes, Trump has a tendency to tout his 2016 win when making these kinds of appearances, but on Friday, he focused on much older history, zeroing in on the Civil War and Generals Lee and Grant. "So Robert E. Lee was a great general and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia, he couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee," Trump began. "He was going crazy ... but Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle and Abraham Lincoln came home and he said 'I can't beat Robert E. Lee.'"

He then flowed into the tale of a native son of Ohio: Ulysses S. Grant, a general who Trump described as struggling with alcohol and lacking the backing of other military leaders. "They said 'Don’t take him; he’s got a drinking problem.' And Lincoln said, ‘I don't care what problem he has. You guys aren’t winning.' And his name was Grant, General Grant,” Trump said. "And he went in and knocked the hell out of everyone. They said to Lincoln, 'You can’t use him anymore, he’s an alcoholic' and Lincoln said, 'I don’t care if he’s an alcohol, frankly, get me six or seven just like him.'" Other outlets including NBC News and the Hill reported on Trump's praise of Lee, which Twitchy sees as "BS," noting the praise was simply given as the run-up to introducing Grant. Politico's take: "Civil War history has been fraught territory for Trump and key members of his administration." (More President Trump stories.)

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