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History is not Donald Trump’s strongest subject

Daily Trump Tracker: The president invokes a predecessor in vain, Steve Bannon claws on a little longer, and the folks Down Under question the value of friendship


 

The Civil War was about slavery
A basic grasp of the facts about the American Civil War appears to be lacking among some of the more pallid members of the country’s population. President Donald Trump told a Washington Examiner reporter that if slaveowner Andrew Jackson had “been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” that the by-then-dead Jackson was “really angry” about the conflict. Trump also asked, “Why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out.” Slavery is why, Donald. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart tweeted that “nothing is worse than a Yankee telling a Southerner that his monuments don’t matter” in response to measures in New Orleans that included taking down statues of Confederate generals. Slavery is worse, Corey. And the suddenly much-followed Jenna Abrams tweeted that “the [Confederate] flag and the war wasn’t about slavery, it was all about money.” It was about slavery, Jenna. Stop forcing Black Americans to educate you to defend their own history and humanity, and pick up a damn book.

It’s so hard to tell them apart
Steve Bannon still has a friend in the Oval Office. The president today dismissed suggestions that the White House chief strategist/puppeteer could be ousted from the administration over an ongoing feud with First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner. He also called Bannon “alt-left” instead of the opposite direction more commonly attributed to the former Breitbart head honcho, because apparently words have lost all meaning.

Remind me why we’re friends with them again?
First he insults their prime minister, then he provokes a volatile regime within nuclear-missile range of them. Trump seems to have it out for Australians, who recently joined the list of nations North Korea has threatened to drop a plutonium warhead on by virtue of being a U.S. ally.

We’re done here
Also among the interviews throughout which the president ad-libbed to commemorate his first 100 days was this one with CBS News, in which Trump described his accusation that the previous administration had surveilled his gilded New York cage as having “been proven very strongly.” When John Dickerson pushed him on the matter, his Donaldness declared the conversation at an end.

Pizza may soon be vegetable again, tomatoes still in limbo
School meal standards implemented with the backing of former first lady Michelle Obama are on the chopping board, with Trump’s Department of Agriculture postponing some nutritional requirements and providing exemptions for others. (For the record, Congress did not in fact declare pizza a vegetable six years ago).


 

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