WH: Media ‘Stoking Political Racism’

By Melanie Arter | November 1, 2017 | 12:04pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House on Tuesday accused the media of “stoking political racism,” while defending Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly’s comments about the Civil War.

Kelly told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stands where their conscience had them make their stand.”


“No,” Sanders when asked if Kelly’s comments were deeply offensive and historically inaccurate. “Because as I said before, I think that you can't -- because you don't like history, doesn't mean that you can erase it and pretend that it didn't happen. and I think that's the point that General Kelly was trying to make. And to try to create something and push a narrative that simply doesn’t exist is just, frankly, outrageous and absurd.”

Kelly was speaking to Laura Ingraham about efforts to remove Confederate statues. He said that Gen. Robert E. Lee “was an honorable man” who “gave up his country for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country.”

Sanders accused the media of stoking racism and cited an ad that accused Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie of supporting racism. The ad by the Latino Victory Fund shows someone driving a truck with Confederate flags chasing Latino, black, and Muslim kids.

“I think the fact that we keep trying to drive -- the media continues to want to make this and push that this is some sort of a racially charged and divided White House -- frankly, the only people I see stoking political racism right now are the people in the groups that are running ads like the one you saw take place in Virginia earlier this week,” she said.

“That's the type of thing that I think really is a problem, and I think it is absurd and disgraceful to keep trying to make comments and take them out of context to mean something they simply don't,” Sanders said.

As CNSNews.com reported, Sanders said all political leaders had flaws.

“Robert E. Lee aside -- and I understand your point about how all leaders have flaws -- but what Kelly said yesterday was that an inability to compromise led to the Civil War. And back in the spring, the president said that he thinks that Andrew Jackson could have made a deal to avert the war. What is the compromise that they're talking about? To leave the southern states slaves and the northern states free? What was the compromise that could have been made?” a reporter asked.

“I don't know that I'm going to get into debating the Civil War, but I do know that many historians, including Shelby Foote, in Ken Burns' famous Civil War documentary, agreed that a failure to compromise was a cause of the Civil War. There are a lot of historians that think that, and there are lot of different versions of those compromises,” Sanders said.

“I'm not going to get up here and re-litigate the Civil War, but there are certainly, I think, some historical documentation that many people -- and there's pretty strong consensus from people from the left, the right, the north, and the south -- that believe that if some of the individuals engaged had been willing to come to some compromises on different things, then it may not have occurred,” she said.

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