President Donald Trump on Wednesday stunned many observers when he approvingly quoted a right-wing talk radio host who compared the president to the “second coming of God.”
According to historian Heather Cox Richardson, however, this is not the first time an American president has compared himself to Jesus, whom Christians believe was the son of God.
Writing on Twitter, Richardson explained that the “last president to compare himself to Jesus was Andrew Johnson, before the 1866 midterms.”
She then wrote that Johnson at the time “planned to lead his white supremacist supporters to victory to roll back Reconstruction.”
However, Johnson’s plans fell apart after the elections as “those who stood against him won a supermajority” and then passed the 14th Amendment that established, among other things, birthright citizenship.
Last president to compare himself to Jesus was Andrew Johnson, before the 1866 midterms. He planned to lead his white supremacist supporters to victory to roll back Reconstruction.
Those who stood against him won a supermajority… and that’s how we got the 14th Amendment.
— Heather Cox Richardson (TDPR) (@HC_Richardson) August 21, 2019
Johnson was also subsequently impeached in 1868, although he was not convicted in the Senate.