In a strange moment during his Ohio rally, Donald Trump went a long diatribe praising Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Trump said, “So Robert E. Lee was a great general and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia, he couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee. Abraham Lincoln came home and he said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee.”
The praise for Lee was met with criticism by many, including one of Lee’s own descendants. Robert E. Lee IV is the generals great-great-great-great nephew.
Lee IV has been critical of his relative before and did not hold back after Trump’s comments. He said in a video, “Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E. Lee as a great general, as an honorable man. These were far from the truth.”
The general’s descendant also had vitriol for Trump:
“I’m encouraged we are going to work to end this. We are going to vote. We are going to show Donald Trump that white supremacy has no place in our government. We are going to show him who the people are and what really matters in this nation.”
This is not the first time Lee IV has spoken out against white supremacy. Shortly after the Charlottesville riots, he spoke at the MTV Music Awards. He faced a backlash from this appearance and due to the criticism, stepped down as Pastor of a North Carolina Church.
One of the strange elements of Trump’s speech was that it was in Ohio. Ohio was a strategically important territory for the Union Army. Two of the most important generals in the Union, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman were both born there.
Trump did mention Grant, who eventually defeated Lee during his speech. He noted that Grant was an alcoholic, claims that many historians believe is overblown.
— Rev. Rob Lee (@roblee4) October 13, 2018
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.