If you’ve been keeping up with our weekly coverage of the Trump administration’s seemingly interminable downward spiral, then you’ve no doubt noticed that the White House has a funny way of dealing with the past. Since the days of the campaign (and probably well before then if we're honest), Trump's understanding of American history has been spotty at best, which puts his press team in between a rock and a hard place when they have to attempt to translate his ramblings. Listening to Trump on history is like listening to a child talk about what they learned in school that day. His speeches are filled with incoherent ramblings that are baffling at best, and factually bankrupt at worst.
The Trump administration has reconstructed history through their particular lens, and, by doing so, they whitewash significant events while attempting to turn America into a kind of GOP Disneyland. When Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly discussed the Civil War with Fox News, he pushed aside the notion that the war was fought over slavery – which it was – and claimed that it was about a "lack of compromise." This line of thought is offensive on a molecular level, and it also shows the depths that the Trump White House will go to in order to realign history with its values.
In a few instances, there have been Trump staff resignations over how bad his employees have been at lying to the American people and the press, but unfortunately, everyone that’s left in the White House seems to be A-OK with just making stuff up. Steel yourself, and keep reading to find out all the ways that the Trump administration is wrong about history. Brought to you by the administration that coined "alternative facts."
5. The Official Holocaust Memorial Press Release Forgets To Mention The Jewish People
We're going to need a bigger YIKES for this news story. On January 27, 2017 – Holocaust Remembrance Day – the White House released a very short statement honoring the "victims, survivors, [and] heroes of the Holocaust." The press release didn't make one mention of Judaism or the 6 million Jewish people who were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
That's a lie of omission if not something entirely more sinister.Is this offensive?
6. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Doubles Down On The Civil War Revisionism
In a press conference on October 31, 2017, Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Chief of Staff John Kelly's statement that Robert E. Lee was an "honorable man." She then doubled down on his comments that the Civil War was caused by a "lack of an ability to compromise" and not the South's desire to own human beings. Huckabee Sanders claimed that "many historians" thought that a "failure to compromise was a cause of the Civil War."
Ken Burns, the one historian on the Civil War (and history in general) that really matters, felt the opposite.
Many factors contributed to the Civil War. One caused it: slavery.— Ken Burns (@KenBurns) October 31, 2017
Historian Barbara Fields ended the film: “the Civil War is still going on. It's still to be fought and regrettably it can still be lost.”— Ken Burns (@KenBurns) October 31, 2017Is this offensive?
7. Sean Spicer Straight Up Lies About Trump's Inauguration Crowd Size
In more recent history, who can forget Inauguration-Gate? Oh those halcyon days when all anyone had to worry about was the size of Trump's inaugural crowd. The whole thing started when the Twitter feed for the National Parks Service tweeted a side-by-side comparison of Trump's inauguration crowd with President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Much to the President's chagrin, even Bernie Sanders got in on the fun.
The day after the inauguration, the debacle was left to Sean Spicer to clean up, and instead of being honest about the crowd size, he threw down one of the first big lies to come from the Press Secretary's podium:
“Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power and, as the president said, the transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States, some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting.”
He went after The New York Times for tweeting photos of the crowd/doing their jobs, and then he dropped the lie that would become the basis for Trump's presidency: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe.”Is this offensive?
8. Donald Trump Claims That He Wasn't All For The Iraq War When He Definitely WasPhoto: YouTube
This lie technically happened prior to Trump's presidency, but it's so in your face that it has to be discussed. At a 2016 Indiana campaign stop, Trump claimed that he was against the Iraq war from the very beginning. He told his audience, “It should have never happened,” as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence stood by his side. “I didn’t want to go from the beginning, and I have proof – from the beginning. I didn’t want Iraq. I said you’re going to destabilize the Middle East, and that’s exactly what happened.” But here's the thing, in 2002, six months before the Iraq war, Trump appeared on The Howard Stern Show and said that said that he supported invading the Middle East.
This is also the guy who claims that he saw Muslims cheering during 9/11, so what else do you expect? If you want to drive yourself extra crazy, watch Donald Trump perform verbal gymnastics to Anderson Cooper in order to try and get around the fact that he was all for invading the Middle East.Is this offensive?