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Politics Mnuchin defends Trump's stance on Confederate monuments: 'We need to have a balanced view of history'

19:07  02 july  2020
19:07  02 july  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

Trump: Sad to see states allowing 'wise guys, anarchists & looters' to topple statues

  Trump: Sad to see states allowing 'wise guys, anarchists & looters' to topple statues President Trump in a late-night tweet said it is sad to see states allowing "wise guys, anarchists & looters" to topple statues and monuments during protests. The president stood his ground in opposing efforts by protesters to remove or vandalize public statues and monuments of controversial historical figures, saying it's "important" for people to "learn from them.

a close up of Steven Mnuchin wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. President Donald Trump attend briefing about the coronavirus outbreak in the press briefing room at the White House on March 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. President Donald Trump attend briefing about the coronavirus outbreak in the press briefing room at the White House on March 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken a stand against removing symbols or monuments to the Confederacy.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday defended the president in this regard.
  • "We need to have a balanced view of history," Mnuchin said.
  • As coronavirus continues to devastate communities across the US, and amid nationwide protests over racism and police brutality, Trump has focused heavily on the Confederate monument issue.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday stood behind President Donald Trump's defense of Confederate monuments, stating the US needed to have a "balanced view of history."

Trump says he'll veto bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates

  Trump says he'll veto bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, offered an amendment to the NDAA requiring the Defense Department to rename bases named for Confederate officers.Mr. Trump took aim at the amendment to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, which would require the Pentagon to change the names of 10 Army bases named for Confederate generals. Warren's measure also extends to other military assets named for the Confederate officers and requires the Defense Department to remove names, symbols, displays and monuments that commemorate the Confederacy within three years.

Amid a nationwide discussion over racism and police brutality, which has prompted mass protests, there have been growing calls for Confederate monuments across the country to be taken down and for US military bases named after Confederate generals to be renamed.

Trump has taken an outspoken stance against this as he simultaneously continues to condemn the Black Lives Matter movement. The president recently threatened to veto an annual defense bill if it includes a provision to rename military installations named for Confederate leaders. He also in late June signed an executive order on protecting monuments.

Meanwhile, with his reelection prospects looking dimmer by the day, Trump has increasingly employed the rhetoric of white supremacists in an effort to rile up his base and increase divisions in the US. On Sunday, Trump was widely criticized after retweeting a video in which a supporter yelled "white power." Hours later, Trump finally deleted the tweet.

McConnell: Trump shouldn't veto defense bill over renaming Confederate bases

  McConnell: Trump shouldn't veto defense bill over renaming Confederate bases Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said that he hopes President Trump does not veto a mammoth defense bill over a plan that requires the Pentagon to change the names of bases named after Confederate figures."Well, I would hope the president really wouldn't veto the bill over this issue. I hope the president will reconsider vetoing the entire defense bill," McConnell said during an interview with Fox News. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

In this context, Mnuchin on Thursday was asked by Liz Goodwin of the Boston Globe if Trump is truly focused on combatting the coronavirus pandemic, or if he's more concerned with upholding symbols of the Confederacy.

Mnuchin in response said that Trump is "focused on everything," describing Confederate monument issue as "complicated."

"We need to have a balanced view of history," Mnuchin said.

When asked if Trump would apologize for the "white power" tweet, which he ultimately deleted, Mnuchin said, "We're here to talk about economics."

Most Americans support removing Confederate monuments

The Confederacy was a traitorous army that fought a war to perpetuate slavery in the US. It was the bloodiest conflict in US history — it's estimated as many as 750,000 were killed.

Into 'My Body is a Monument'

  Into 'My Body is a Monument' In the debate over Confederate monuments, one writer says the virtue of her existence is a monument in and of itself.There are those who argue that tearing these statues down erases our history. And others who say they must come down if we hope to create meaningful systemic change.

Many of the Confederate monuments in the US were not built until well into the Jim Crow era, years after the Civil War ended. Many historians have said that the monuments were built as white supremacist propaganda, and meant to send a message to Black Americans pushing for desegregation and civil rights.

"Most of the people who were involved in erecting the monuments were not necessarily erecting a monument to the past. But were rather, erecting them toward a white supremacist future," Jane Dailey, an associate professor of history at the University of Chicago, told NPR in 2017.

A majority of US voters (52%) support removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country, according to a June Quinnipiac University poll. Protesters have torn down Confederate statues in recent weeks. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, on Tuesday signed a bill to remove the Confederate battle emblem the state's flag. The Democratic mayor of Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy, on Wednesday ordered the "immediate removal" of all Confederate monuments on city property.

Trump wants a park for statues of 'American heroes.' Just how might that work?

  Trump wants a park for statues of 'American heroes.' Just how might that work? Against a backdrop of tensions over Confederate monuments, Trump's executive order hits at a main theme of his reelection campaign.In a moment of dueling national tensions over systemic racism and a deadly pandemic — and with a presidential election looming in November — Trump's surprise executive order begs two questions: Will it actually ever happen? And if so, which American figures would then make the cut?

In short, Trump is swimming against the current of history by defending symbols of the Confederacy.

Trump paints a rosy picture of the economy, even though America is still in crisis

Mnuchin's comments on Thursday came during a press conference in which the president sought to put a positive spin on the dismal state of the US economy, which is forecasted to get worse in the coming weeks and months as coronavirus cases spike in the US.

The US economy added a record 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. The unemployment rate, however, is still higher than at any point during the Great Recession and the US economy is still down almost 14.7 million jobs since February.

The economy got a boost from states easing coronavirus restrictions, but cases of the virus are also surging at an alarming rate, prompting governors and mayors to re-institute various precautionary measures. Despite Trump's rosy depiction of the US economy, there's still a great deal of uncertainty in this arena as coronavirus continues to reek havoc across the country.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Confederate monuments in Gettysburg spark debate among historians .
Are they educational or do they glorify slavery? It depends on who you ask. “This is the largest of the Confederate monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield,” said Jason Martz, an acting public affairs officer for the Gettysburg National Military Park. The statue of Robert E. Lee stands about 41 feet tall on the Gettysburg battlefield, a pivotal site of the Civil War. Martz says Lee’s statue and other monuments of Confederate leaders in Gettysburg will likely stay because of their historical value. “In many cases, these monuments have been here for so long.

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