Twitter couldn’t resist pointing out that President Donald Trump’s take on the Civil War sounded like it came out of an episode of Drunk History.
During an interview with the Washington Examiner, Trump fondly remembered how one of his personal presidential heroes, Andrew Jackson (a slave owner), supposedly addressed the Civil War that mysteriously happened a full 16 years after he died.
“I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart,” Trump told the Examiner’s Salena Zito. “He was really angry that he saw what was happening 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 added.
As more than one Twitter user pointed out, “why did the Civil War happen” is one of the questions the U.S. government asks immigrants applying for citizenship.
Incidentally, “Why was there the Civil War?” is also one of the questions on the U.S. citizenship test. pic.twitter.com/wJosbOgJLB
— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) May 1, 2017
"People don't ask that question, but why was there a Civil War?" – President Trump
You need to be asked this question to be a U.S. citizen pic.twitter.com/A9bl8JQKsX
— Gene Park (@GenePark) May 1, 2017
Of course, others wondered how President Trump could have made it so far in life seemingly not knowing something that American children are taught in public schools before they even enter puberty. Comedian Frank Coniff noted that Trump’s ignorance of slavery being the chief cause of the Civil War is likely due to the questionable ideologies of top advisors like Steve Bannon. Radio host John Fugelsang opined that Trump’s base will mot likely ignore or defend the president’s lack of fundamental knowledge of U.S. history.
It's so surprising that a racist President who surrounds himself with white supremacists would have a distorted view of the Civil War.
— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) May 1, 2017
Q. What's dumber than a POTUS who doesn't understand the Civil War or how a bill becomes law?
A. His loyal voting base that doesn't care.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) May 1, 2017
"What caused the Civil War?"
Bannon: The Jews!
Sessions: The blacks!
Pence: No! It was the gays!
DeVos: Guys, it was definitely bears.
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) May 1, 2017
Others simply mocked the president for starting a national conversation about the Civil War, when its causes were seemingly known and understood without question or debate for a century and a half. Another marveled that Trump’s Civil War comments came on the same day that the president kicked a reporter out of the Oval Office for asking a question he didn’t like, and Trump saying he would be “honored” to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
As a former History Teacher, when I see Civil War trending I'm like "OH WHAT'S THIS?!", but then I see it's idiots trying to rewrite history
— Jesse Cox (@JesseCox) May 1, 2017
*Looks at why "Civil War" is trending on Twitter* pic.twitter.com/TR91CBjiXr
— Cleveland Cam (@CamCleveland) May 1, 2017
Today in America: cable news hosts explain to the President of the United States why we had a civil war.
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) May 1, 2017
Trump thinks Frederick Douglass is alive, Hitler wasn't low enough to use chemical weapons, and Andrew Jackson lived through the Civil War.
— Just Me. (@NoThoughtsHere) May 1, 2017
Come on, Trump's right: Andy Jackson was really worked up about the Civil War. Just like FDR was about Vietnam and JFK was about 9/11.
— John Schindler (@20committee) May 1, 2017
1. Ended interview bc of false claims
2. Praise A. Jackson
3. Doesn't know why Civil War happened
4. Wants to meet Kim Jong-un
ALL IN 24 HR
— Richie (@richiedes922) May 1, 2017
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.