Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Some presidents are students of history. And then there’s Donald Trump, who spent the part of yesterday when he wasn’t praising North Korea’s dictator spinning a revisionist take on the Civil War.
Here’s a real thing that the man with the nuclear codes said in an interview on Monday: “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if 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 went on to say President Andrew Jackson, an unrepentant slave owner, was “really angry” about the war that broke out 16 years after his death.
He later clarified on Twitter Monday night that he definitely knew Jackson was no longer alive when the Civil War began.
While it’s difficult to deal in hypotheticals, The New York Times attempted to fact-check Trump’s take on the Civil War with Jon Meacham, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Jackson.
Meacham stopped short of litigating how Jackson, who hailed from Tennessee, a state that would fight with the Confederacy, would’ve felt about the Civil War, but it sure would be nice if our president would take a day off from praising a leader that definitely loved slavery, engineering the genocide of Native Americans, and once threatened to invade South Carolina.
This morning, Meacham said on Morning Joe that Trump had privately told him that he thought he could have done a deal to avoid the Civil War—which, given what we already know about Trump’s less-than-formidable negotiating skills, seems like just a bit of a stretch.
- This Republican congressman thinks you getting cancer was your own damn fault.
- Can we make jokes at Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expense without being homophobic? Yes, but Stephen Colbert definitely hasn’t figured that out yet.
- A 21-year-old student wielding a Bowie knife killed one and injured three in an attempt at the University of Texas at Austin.
- While May Day protests around the country were by and large peaceful showings of solidarity with workers around the globe, police arrested dozens of demonstrators in New York City. More than 25 were arrested in Portland after protesters started lobbing Molotov cocktails at police.
WHAT FRESH HELL