Trump’s loose grip on history is biting him
● Trump Remembers the Ladies By Gail Collins
Riffing during a fundraising dinner before the National Republican Congressional Committee, President Donald Trump asked if anyone knew Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
“Great president. Most people don't even know he was a Republican," Trump said earlier this month. "Does anyone know? Lot of people don't know that.”
The president’s statement was met with ridicule — and this wasn’t the first time. From implying famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass was still alive to praising both Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, two bitter rivals, within a week, presidential historians say Trump is showing a lack of a solid grasp on history.
Most recent presidents have entered the Oval Office with a fierce curiosity about their predecessors, but Trump acknowledged not reading any presidential biographies before he clinched the Republican nomination — and he hasn’t indicated he intends to read one soon.
Trump’s remarks Wednesday to the Women’s Empowerment Panel showcased his free-wheeling approach to history. Although he was factually correct about the history of Abigail Adams, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, his delivery raised eyebrows. After describing Harriet Tubman as “very, very courageous, believe me,” he asked the audience a strange question about Anthony.
“Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?” he asked.