Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Donald Trump Praises Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee

Donald Trump Praises Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee

The president, during the rally in Lebanon, Ohio, said Lincoln had developed a phobia about Lee and lamented that he couldn't defeat the southern general - so he called on Grant. In reality, though, they were characterizing a lengthy story created to heap praise on locally-born Union General Grant as being a story focused on praising not locally-born Confederate General Lee, and that is simply not the case.

NBC allowed a false claim about comments made by President Donald Trump to go uncorrected for two full days.

Now this ill-conceived anecdote was to lead up to Trump's introduction of Ulysses S. Grant, the Union army general recruited by Abraham Lincoln to defeat Lee's army in the Cilvil War.

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Robert E. Lee was born in Virginia.

News on Friday incorrectly tweeted that Trump had called Lee "incredible" during his speech. But he made the statement in the context of talking about how hard it was for President Abraham Lincoln to defeat him. Lincoln was aware of the rumors about Grant's alcohol abuse and once said that he had faced opposition to Grant "from several of our best republicans". It was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, not Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Almost two days later, following Trump's tweet condemning NBC News, the outlet tweeted its correction, which included the full clip of his Lee-Grant story.

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"Trump praises Robert E. Lee during OH rally", an article on Politico said. "Grant really did-he had a serious problem, a serious drinking problem, but man, was he a good general", Trump told the crowd. "An attached video clip lacked the full context for Trump's remark". But Reverend Lee's message is a powerful admonishment, coming from a southerner and a descendent of the general himself.

Even though Trump's meaning was clear from the context, other news outlets also pounced on NBC's angle. They said to Lincoln, you can't use him anymore.

If there's some solace in this, it's that the corrected tweet - in a rare instance - is getting more retweets than the original, incorrect tweet. Calls to remove statues honoring confederate figures inspired the deadly 2017 in Charlottesville. Trump continued with his praise of Grant, and repeated again that both Lee and Grant were great generals, and said to the OH audience of Grant "he came from right here".

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"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our attractive statues and monuments", Trump tweeted in August 2017.

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