Friday on CNN’s “The Lead,” network contributor Paul Begala commented President Donald Trump didn’t “know Robert E. Lee from Bruce Lee.”
Begala said, “I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general. Whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals,” when responding to reporters questions about Charlottesville Friday morning.
Host Jake Tapper said, “The was a general that led a treasonous rebellion and fought for the right of people to own African-Americans as slaves. That’s what he is. And a brutal guy, horrible guy.”
Begala replied, “That’s simply true. And you could have an interesting historical debate about lee and his life. I think you’re right, when you wage war against the United States of America, that is the definition of treason. It’s in the Constitution. So there’s no question about that, in my mind. But the President is not really talking — he doesn’t know Robert E. Lee from Bruce Lee. Oh, kung fu movies! No, he’s sending, not just dog whistles, he’s sending foghorns to the ultra-right fringe, to the racist right. And it stains his entire party. His party was founded by Abraham Lincoln. They have such a proud history on issues of race. And he has taken them into such a dark place on this. And he’s doing it on purpose. He has chosen, and I think it’s a good point about broadening. Any other strategist would say, you need to broaden your support, he’s chosen to deepen it. It may work. I don’t know, it’s not what I would do. I think it’s bad politics, but I know it’s bad history and I know it’s bad ethics, because he seems to be drawn to these racially-divisive issues.”
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