— CNN (@CNN) October 31, 2017
During an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday night, White House Chief of Staff and retired U.S. general John Kelly blamed “both sides” for the Civil War. When asked about what should be done with Civil War monuments, Kelly stated, “The lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”
Kelly was dragged on social media, notably by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who explained how misguided Kelly’s statement was and pointed out that the number of compromises that the Confederacy rejected was extremely easy information to track down.
Ever-ready to defend the weird things said by the Trump administration, Sarah Huckabee Sanders today informed the White House press pool that Kelly’s comments were in line with what historians (like Confederacy obsessive Shelby Foote) say on the issue and that it is not her job to “re-litigate the Civil War” — despite her bosses’ apparent desire to do just that.
Asked specifically about what compromises Kelly and President Trump have discussed in the past, and even given some hints as to possible answers by a reporter, Sanders replied, “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, agree that a failure to compromise was a cause of the Civil War. There are a lot of historians that think that and there are a lot of different versions of those compromises.”
“I’m not going to get up here and re-litigate the Civil War,” Sanders added. “But there’s certainly some historical documentation that many people, and there’s pretty strong consensus, people from the left, the right, the North, 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.”
Rather than say that “slavery is bad,” Sanders just kept on digging.