Trump asks whether Civil War could have been ‘worked out’
US President Donald Trump took a fresh shot at his predecessor Barack Obama and suggested the US Civil War could have been avoided, in a series of media interviews broadcast Monday.
Trump told the Sirius XM POTUS radio channel that his president hero, the “swashbuckler” Andrew Jackson, could have avoided the Civil War had he not died a decade-and-a-half before.
“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart,” Trump said. “He was a swashbuckler.”
“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
More than 600,000 people died in the conflict that convulsed America between 1861 and 1865, which was triggered in large part by disputes over the future of slavery and has framed much of the nation’s politics in the centuries that followed.
In March, Trump made a political pilgrimage to the Tennessee home of Jackson, America’s first populist president who himself owned scores of slaves.
Trump praised “the very great” Jackson’s willingness to take on “an arrogant elite.”
However Trump has been less complimentary about his immediate predecessor, Obama, appearing to renew controversial allegations that the 44th president bugged his phone.
“You saw how everybody saw what happened, and I think that was inappropriate,” Trump told CBS in a separate interview.
In March, Trump tweeted claims that Obama had wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower in New York.
Pressed on that allegation, which has since been rebutted by intelligence agencies and even Congressional Republicans, Trump was evasive.
“I think you can take it any way you want. Our side has been proved and everybody is talking about it.
“I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it’s a very big topic. And it’s a topic that should be number one. And we should find out what the hell is going on.”