President Donald Trump praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee at a rally in Ohio Friday night during a soliloquy in which he also praised a number of Ohioans, including Union General Ulysses S. Grant.
“So Robert E. Lee was a great general and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia, he couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, the latest place he’s visited to boost GOP candidates before the midterm elections.
“He was going crazy … but Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle and Abraham Lincoln came home and he said ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee.” Trump added that the frustrated Lincoln was forced to turn to Grant to finally deliver a victory for the Union and to end the Civil War.
Trump went on to describe how “incredible” Union commander and Ohio native Ulysses S. Grant went on to defeat Lee, and referenced Grant’s heavy drinking.
The president said that Ohio gave the U.S. a general “who was incredible, he drank a little bit too much, you know who I’m talking about.” Trump continued “And Lincoln said, I don’t care what problem he has, you guys aren’t winning. And his name was Grant, General Grant, and he went in and he knocked the hell out of everyone.”
In recent years memorials to Lee and other Confederate leaders have become a focus of protests and fierce debate, with Confederate monuments removed from towns and cities across the U.S. following the 2015 Charleston church shooting by white supremacist Dylann Roof, who in pictures had posed with a Confederate flag.
USA Today reports:
Trump said, “They said to Lincoln, ‘You can’t use him anymore, he’s an alcoholic’ and Lincoln said, ‘I don’t care if he’s an alcoholic, frankly, get me six or seven just like him.’”
Trump regularly discusses alcohol in personal terms. The issue most recently come up during the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced allegations of not only sexual assault but also of drinking to excess in high school and college.
Trump said he was surprised that Kavanaugh repeatedly noted how much he liked beer as a student when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Robert E. Lee is still trending at #3 on Twitter this morning.
— Kevin Brushett (@KTBrushett) October 13, 2018
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) October 13, 2018