Robert E Lee's relative condemns Donald Trump's praise of the pro-slavery general

Robert E Lee's relative condemns Donald Trump's praise of the pro-slavery general

Donald Trump called the leader of the US Civil War Confederate army a "great general."

The US president praised Robert E Lee, whose pro-slavery stance has been a mark of controversy against his contemporary supporters.

Trump mentioned the general at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, in an anecdote about former president Ulysses E Grant.

“Robert E Lee was winning battle after battle after battle,” said Trump.

And Abraham Lincoln came home. He said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E Lee’. They said to Lincoln, ‘You can’t use [Grant] anymore, he’s an alcoholic.’ And Lincoln said, ‘I don’t care if he’s an alcoholic, frankly, give me six or seven more just like him.’ He started to win.

However a descendant of the infamous general took to Twitter to condemn Trump's support of an "idol of white supremacy."

"Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E Lee as a great general, as an honourable man," Reverend Robert Lee IV began.

Yet again our president is lying and showing us his true colours. He is showing us that he supports an idol of white supremacy and of hatred. Robert E Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies. It was for states' rights, yes, but it was for states' rights to own slaves.

The US president has been vocal about his support of confederate figures in the past, and they've had a bit of a resurgence in American politics following the rise of far-right sentiments. In 2017 calls to remove a confederate statue prompted a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Trump has praised Confederate figures before.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," he lamented in a tweet last year.

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