White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Monday said that the Civil War stemmed from a “lack of an ability to compromise,” ignoring that the two sides fought over whether slavery should be legal.
Kelly made the comments in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, also telling the new Fox host that Confederate General Robert E. Lee was an “honorable man.”
Ingraham asked Kelly about a church in Virginia that decided to remove plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee since the plaques “create a distraction in our worship space and may create an obstacle to our identity as a welcoming church and an impediment to our growth and to full community with our neighbors.”
Kelly said that Americans should not “take what is today accepted as right and wrong” and apply it to history.
“It shows you how much of a lack of appreciation of history and what history is. I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which in 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first, back in those days, and now it’s different today,” Kelly told Ingraham.
“But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War,” he added. “And men of women of good faith on both sides made their stand, where their conscience had them make their stand.”
Watch part of the interview via Fox News. Ingraham asks about the church at the 5:30 mark.