The president's comments on Monday struck some historians as darker than a history goof, with the president seeming to minimize the painful history of slavery in the United States and to talk up Jackson’s role as a strongman leader who proudly owned many slaves.
“It’s the kind of comment that will get applause from neo-Confederate circles in the South,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University.
Confederate flags were a common sight at Trump rallies during the 2016 campaign, and monuments to Confederate leaders are common in Southern states.
Some in Trump’s circle, including chief strategist Steve Bannon, have sought to liken Trump to Jackson, a populist. In March, Trump visited Jackson’s gravesite in Nashville, Tennessee, where he declared himself “a fan."
“Steve Bannon has made Jackson the epitome of the hardscrabble, American folk hero,” added Brinkley. “And Trump has bought into Steve Bannon’s version of Andrew Jackson.”
On Monday night, the president tweeted: “President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!"NC State Rep. Larry Pittman, a paleoconservative icon among Republicans, is surely heartened.
He recently called Abraham Lincoln a dictator and a war criminal.
Curiously, Pittman hasn't mouthed off yet.