The White House blamed the media for pushing a “racially charged and divided White House” narrative on Tuesday, in response to questions about an interview chief of staff John Kelly gave Monday evening in which he said the Civil War stemmed from a “lack of an ability to compromise.”
When NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders whether the White House acknowledges that Kelly’s “compromise” comments were “deeply offensive to some folks” — because the two sides fought over whether slavery should be legal during the Civil War — Sanders said “no.”
Following the White House’s line — as it relates to the debate over the removal of Confederate monuments — Sanders said just “because you don’t like history doesn’t mean that you can erase it and pretend it didn’t happen.”
“To try to create something and push a narrative that simply doesn’t exist, is just frankly outrageous and absurd. I think the fact that we keep trying to drive, the media continues to want to make this and push that this is some sort of racially charged and divided White House,” she said. “Frankly the only people I see stoking political racism right now are the people in the groups that are running ads like the one you saw taking place in Virginia earlier this week. That’s the type of thing that I think really is a problem.”
Sanders is likely referencing an advertisement put out by a group called Latino Victory this week, to criticize Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. The video shows minority children running away from a white man driving a pickup truck with a Confederate flag on it.
— Latino Victory (@latinovictoryus) October 30, 2017
Kelly also said there were “men and women of good faith on both sides” who made their stand during the Civil War, rhetoric that’s uncannily similar to remarks President Donald Trump made about there being good people on “many sides” of a protest at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
A woman died when a man affiliated with the white supremacists allegedly drove his car through a crowd of counter protesters. The rally was held in that city to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.