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Trump says Abraham Lincoln 'did good' for the Black community but that 'the end result' is 'questionable'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/12/2020 ssheth@businessinsider.com (Sonam Sheth)
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump. Associated Press © Associated Press President Donald Trump. Associated Press
  • President Donald Trump claimed in a Fox News interview that he's done more for the Black community than any other president, including Abraham Lincoln.
  • "He did good, although it's always questionable, you know, in other words, the end result —" Trump said of Lincoln before Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner cut him off.
  • "Well, we are free, Mr. President, so I think he did pretty well," Faulkner, who is Black, said.
  • Lincoln is one of the most popular presidents in US history and widely revered for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery.
  • "This may well be the president's most audacious claim ever," Michael Fauntroy, a professor of political science at Howard University, told The New York Times. "Not only has he not done more than anybody else, he's done close to the least."
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President Donald Trump claimed in a Fox News interview with Harris Faulkner that he's done more for the Black community than any other president in history, including Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln is one of the most popular presidents in US history and widely revered for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery.

"So I think I've done more for the Black community than any other president, and let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good, although it's always questionable, you know, in other words, the end result —" Trump said before Faulkner interjected.

"Well, we are free, Mr. President, so I think he did pretty well," she said, referring to Lincoln.

"We are free," Trump said. "You understand what I mean."

"Yeah, I get it," Faulkner said.

This isn't the first time Trump has claimed he's done more for the Black community than his predecessors.

"This may well be the president's most audacious claim ever," Michael Fauntroy, a professor of political science at Howard University, told The New York Times earlier this month. "Not only has he not done more than anybody else, he's done close to the least."

The majority of historians and experts believe Lincoln and former President Lyndon B. Johnson have had the most legislative achievements in advancing civil rights, according to The Times. Johnson, in particular, advocated for the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act.

Other presidents like Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton also took action to protect and enforce the constitutional rights of Black Americans, as well as diversify the federal government and the judiciary.

Trump's remarks in the Fox News interview are particularly notable because they come amid nationwide protests against racism and police brutality in the wake of the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd.

Floyd was a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn't breathe and begged for air.

Trump has not yet made a public statement condemning police brutality and racism in the wake of Floyd's death. He also called on law-enforcement officials and state governors to "dominate" protesters with "overwhelming force," even though the vast majority of demonstrations have been peaceful.

Some have devolved into chaos after authorities used batons, tear gas, flash grenades, and other items to disperse crowds and beat up protesters if they were in the streets past curfew. Trump and his allies have blamed antifa, a decentralized far-left anti-fascist group, for sparking the violence, but a closer examination of court records, media reports, and social-media posts showed no evidence of a coordinated antifa effort to infiltrate the protests.

The president also drew sharp backlash when he threatened to send the military into Minneapolis to quell demonstrations and quoted a Miami police chief whose harsh policies led to race riots in the 1960s. Twitter later flagged his tweet that contained the quote for glorifying violence.

"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

The president later tried to clarify his comments, saying they were "spoken as a fact, not as a statement."

"It's very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media," he added. "Honor the memory of George Floyd!"

Read the original article on Business Insider

Video: After rebuke, top U.S. general says joining Trump church walk during protests was 'mistake' (Reuters)

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