During an interview with the Washington Examiner published on Monday, President Donald Trump claimed that former President Andrew Jackson was “very angry” about the American Civil War, and he would have stopped it had he still been president in 1861.
“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump said. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was very angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.'”
Jackson may have been a “very tough person,” but that didn’t stop him from dying in 1845 — or 16 years before the Civil War started.
The internet quickly pounced on the president’s historical illiteracy, and hammered him for not knowing very basic facts about his own country’s past. Some of the top reactions follow below.
People don't know this, but Andrew Jackson was a Korean War vet. He fought alongside Frederick Douglass.
— Erin (@doopergirl) May 1, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Andrew Jackson is the President who would have cured polio, probably, if he had been an immortal wizard instead of a violently racist man
— Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) May 1, 2017
Trump said Andrew Jackson "had a big heart" which is probably true because of infectious disease and heavy drinking in his youth
— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) May 1, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Whatever you think of Andrew Jackson, he is still the president who got our country through the Bowling Green Massacre.
— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) May 1, 2017
This sounds like a 3rd grade paper on Andrew Jackson.
— jennifer (@melodychi) May 1, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
He saw the movie "The Buccaneer" about the War of 1812 with Charlton Heston as Jackson and thought it was a documentary about the Civil War. https://t.co/0I7QrgKXqX
— Bill Harnsberger (@BillinPortland) May 1, 2017
Next weekend: Historians March on Washington. Led by Ken Burns and Michael Beschloss.
— Indi Montgomery (@indimontgomery) May 1, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
He, Frederick Douglass, & Pavarotti are having a super-best friend’s club beer summit at the White House today. https://t.co/eBSXERtwLZ
— Ben (@BenHowe) May 1, 2017
Trump on the Civil War reminds me of Jeff Spicoli explaining the American Revolution to Mr. Hand. https://t.co/JG03ZhtRVS
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) May 1, 2017