Addressing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s explanation that the Civil War was the result of a “failure to compromise,” presidential spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders was drawn into a discussion on states memorializing leaders of the Confederacy and claimed, “All of our leaders have flaws.”
Pressed by New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush to speak to the Civil War as a daughter of the south, Sanders compared the memorials to those dedicated to Presidents John F. Kennedy and George Washington.
“All of our leaders have flaws” Sanders replied. “Washington, Jefferson, JFK, Roosevelt. That doesn’t diminish their contributions to our country and it can’t erase them from our history.”
“General Kelly was making the point that just because history isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it is not our history,” she added.
“You are a proud daughter of the south,” Thrush pressed. “When you see a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, is there a differentiation you think with certain Confederate figures who don’t deserve to be honored?”
“I don’t think we should debate every moment of history,” Sanders replied. “I think those moments took place. There are moments that we are a lot less proud of than others but we can’t erase the fact that they happened. I think you have to determine where that line is.”
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