As the midterm elections loom, Donald Trump is out here saying anything and everything he can to secure supporters, and that includes praising confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Of course, this isn’t the first time Donald Trump has sided with Confederate sympathizers and neo-nazis, and it’s unlikely to be his last.
"So Robert E. Lee was a great general and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia, he couldn't beat Robert E. Lee," Trump told a crowd in Lebanon, Ohio on Oct. 12. "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."
Instead of backing away from his comments on someone who fought for slavery, Donald Trump doubled down and defended himself against critics. "NBC News has totally and purposely changed the point and meaning of my story about General Robert E Lee and General Ulysses Grant," Trump tweeted. "Was actually a shoutout to warrior Grant and the great state in which he was born. As usual, dishonest reporting."
Trump is referring to a tweet NBC posted on Friday, which incorrectly reported that No. 45 called Lee "incredible." The news outlet later corrected the tweet, acknowledging that Trump actually called General Ulysses Grant "incredible."
But Trump still made a point to praise the confederate leader, and you know who doesn’t like Lee? His own descendants. The great-great-great-great nephew of Lee, unfortunately named Robert E. Lee IV, went on Twitter to respond to Trump’s message.
“Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E. Lee as a great general, as an honorable man. These were far from the truth,” he said. “Robert E. Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies. It was for state’s rights, yes, but it was for state’s rights to own slaves.”
Lee goes on to encourage people to vote in order to push white supremacy out of government. “But I’m encouraged because we are going to work to end this,” he continued. “We are going to vote. We are going to show Donald Trump that white supremacy has no place in...our government. We are going to show him who the people are and what really matters in this nation.”