<figure> <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.10/article/5bc21450dda4c837768b4612.JPG"> <figcaption>The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. © Reuters / Joshua Roberts
<strong>Trump has again found himself in a familiar place – in the middle of controversy. The US president called Confederate leader Robert E. Lee a “great general,” unleashing a Twitter row over what his comments really meant.</strong>
In the era of Confederate statues and monuments being removed due to the South’s history of slavery, Robert E. Lee isn’t often talked about in a good light. But President Donald Trump managed to bring him up at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio on Friday.
“So Robert E. Lee was a great general. And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee,” Trump said.
He went on to explain that Lee was “winning battle after battle after battle” in the Civil War, and that Lincoln came home and said “I can’t beat Robert E. Lee.”
At that point, Trump explained, Lincoln looked to Ulysses S. Grant to save the day – even though he was told Grant had a drinking problem.
“And he went in and knocked the hell out of everyone,” Trump said of Grant.
But despite most of Trump’s words being related to Grant, it’s his comments about Lee that have the internet in a huff.
Writer and producer Wajahat Ali also chimed in, providing the token Putin reference – even though Putin has absolutely nothing to do with anything said on the stage in Lebanon, Ohio.
Others, however, say that being angry over Trump’s comments is ludicrous, as the president was only using Lee in the story to ultimately praise Grant for beating him.
One person responded to that Tweet by admitting that he initially believed the “false narrative” until he actually watched the clip of Trump speaking for himself. “Why is our media such garbage?” the person asked.
One person said that “Trump derangement syndrome” is to blame for the left “freaking out” over his words.
Others pointed out that Lee was historically a great general, and that is proven by the fact that Lincoln had to go through many people to find one who could beat him.
The Friday rally wasn’t the first time Trump has referenced Lee. Following the Charlottesville riots of 2017, Trump said that protesters had been there to oppose the removal of a “very, very important” statue.
“They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Trump said at the time. “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
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