President Trump gave a series of revealing interviews this weekend as he marked the 100th day of his presidency, making some notable comments about the Civil War and his nonexistent relationship with former President Obama.
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Trump gave an interview, set to come out in full later today, with reporter Salena Zito for her SiriusXM POTUS show, "Main Street Meets the Beltway."
In a tweeted clip of the interview, Trump compares his successful election campaign to Andrew Jackson's — an analogy he has made before. He goes on to suggest that Jackson, who was president from 1829 to 1837 and died in 1845, could have prevented the Civil War, which broke out in 1861. Trump also questions why the U.S. had a civil war.
"They said my campaign and is most like, my campaign and win, was most like Andrew Jackson with his campaign. And I said, 'When was Andrew Jackson?' It was 1828. That's a long time ago. That's Andrew Jackson, and he had a very, very mean and nasty campaign, because they said this was the meanest and nastiest [campaign] since," Trump said, going on to call Jackson "a swashbuckler."
"I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, 'There's no reason for this.' People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"
Trump tweeted later Monday night that Jackson "would never have let it happen."
President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
There is still debate among some historians over the precise causes of the Civil War, but the nonprofit Civil War Trust, dedicated to preserving Civil War battlegrounds, quotes author James McPherson's view that it started because of "uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states." The war began when seven Southern slave states tried to secede from the United States.
In an interview with CBS on Saturday — large portions of which were released this morning — Trump told "Face the Nation" anchor John Dickerson that he has "no relationship" with his predecessor Obama.
"He was very nice to me, but after we've had some difficulties," Trump said. "It doesn't matter. Words are less important to me than deeds. You saw what happened with surveillance, and everybody saw what happened with surveillance ... I think that was inappropriate."
Trump previously touted what he said was a "beautiful" letter that Obama left for him in the Oval Office but said on CBS said that the relationship has soured since.
"Look, you can figure it out yourself. He was very nice to me with words, but — and when I was with him — but after that, there has been no relationship," Trump said.
Asked if he stands by his unsubstantiated claim that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in New York City, Trump said, "I don't stand by anything. I think you can take it any way you want. Our side has been proved very strongly, and everybody is talking about it. And frankly, it should be discussed. I think that's a very big surveillance of our citizens. Think it's a very big topic and it should be No. 1 and we should find out what the hell is going on."