Trump says Civil War ‘could have been negotiated’

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Andrew Harnik/AP

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Des Moines Area Community College in Newton, Iowa, on January 6, 2024.


Former president donald trump on Saturday suggested that the Civil War could have been avoided through “negotiation,” arguing that the fight to end slavery in the United States was ultimately unnecessary and that Abraham Lincoln should have done more to prevent bloodshed.

“So many mistakes were made. To be honest, there was something that I think could have been negotiated,” Trump said at a campaign event in Newton, Iowa. “I think that could have been negotiated. All the people died. Many people died”.

The former president’s comments come just over a week before the nation’s first caucuses in Iowa, where he has a significant lead in polls over his closest rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the former North Carolina governor. South, Nikki Haley. .

The Civil War has emerged as an unlikely talking point in the Republican Party primaries. More than a week before Trump’s comments, Haley answered a question about the cause of the Civil War without mentioning slavery, the driving force behind the war. She has since regressedrepeatedly saying that he thought the fact was obvious.

Trump’s comments were not made in response to or in reference to Haley’s.

In fact, there were a number of efforts before the Civil War began to reach an agreement to save the Union. But the future of slavery in the South could not be resolved through compromise, and the nation went to war with itself. Trump did not say how he would have avoided the conflict, which he also called “so horrible but so fascinating.”

“It was, I don’t know, it was just different,” Trump said of the war. “I just find it, I’m very drawn to watching it.”

After describing the injuries soldiers suffered on the battlefield, Trump said, “There’s nothing good about it,” adding that the war was “tough on our country.”

He also suggested that Lincoln would not have the same historical prestige “if he negotiated it.”

Former Republican Rep. Liz Cheney criticized Trump’s stance on social media and asked how Republicans who have backed the former president can “possibly defend this.”

“What part of the Civil War ‘could have been negotiated’? The slavery part? The secession part? Should Lincoln have preserved the Union? Cheney wrote. “Question for members of the Republican Party – the party of Lincoln – who have supported Donald Trump: How is it possible to defend this?”

Modern Republicans traditionally point to Lincoln as a hero – a Republican hero – for his role in preserving the Union when the South sought to leave the fold rather than end slavery.

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