NBC News tweets correction after Trump slammed the network for ‘totally and purposely’ misinterpreting his remarks on Robert E Lee in its coverage of his campaign rally
- Trump slammed NBC News for its coverage of his remarks at a rally where he talked about Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee
- He said the network missed that his story was ‘actually a shoutout to warrior Grant and the great state in which he was born’
- NBC News issued a correction on Sunday afternoon
- Trump did praise Lee but went on to tout how Grant defeated him
- He also made the point Grant was born in Ohio, which is where he was speaking
- NBC News originally posted a partial clip from the speech on Twitter
- Conservative commentators were first to slam NBC News for the tweet
- Meanwhile a Lee descendent criticized Trump for praising his ancestor
- Robert E Lee IV is the great-great-great nephew of the Confederate war general
- Said he was ‘disheartened’ Trump called Lee a ‘great general and honorable man’
- Lee said it showed that Trump ‘supports an idol of white supremacy and hatred’
- The descendant first spoke out against his ancestor at the MTV Movie Awards
- He had to step down as pastor of his church following backlash from community
NBC News issued a correction after President Donald Trump slammed the network for its coverage of his remarks at a rally where he talked about Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, charging the network with intentionally changing the meaning of his words.
‘NBC News has totally and purposely changed the point and meaning of my story about General Robert E Lee and General Ulysses Grant. Was actually a shoutout to warrior Grant and the great state in which he was born. As usual, dishonest reporting. Even mainstream media embarrassed!’ the president tweeted on Sunday morning.
NBC News issued a correction on Sunday afternoon.
‘CORRECTION: An earlier tweet misidentified the general President Trump described as ‘incredible’ at a rally in Ohio. It was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, not Gen. Robert E. Lee. An attached video clip lacked the full context for Trump’s remark. Here is the full clip,’ the network tweeted.
Trump was echoing conservative commentators like Dinesh D’Souza, who criticized NBC News for posting a video on Twitter from the speech that only showed the first half of the president’s remarks and not the full story he told about the generals.
At his rally in Lebanon, Ohio on Friday, Trump did praise Lee as a great general but went on to tout how Grant defeated him in the Civil War.
He also mentioned how Grant was from Ohio, the state in which he was speaking.
Trump drew criticism after he called Robert E Lee a ‘great general’ during his speech at a Make America Great Again rally in Ohio Friday night
Trump raised eyebrows on Friday with an informal Civil War history lesson in which he said President Abraham Lincoln (center) developed a ‘phobia’ of Confederate Commander Robert E Lee (left) and subsequently called on Ulysses S Grant (right) to lead the Union soldiers
But Trump slammed NBC News for its coverage of his remarks
‘So Robert E. Lee was a great general and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia,’ Trump began, referencing the Confederate general who won many of the early battles against Lincoln’s Union army. ‘He couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee.’
Trump continued the story by recounting how Lincoln found Grant who ‘went in and knocked the hell out of everyone.’
He noted that some Grant critics said he shouldn’t be in command because he reportedly had a drinking problem, but Lincoln stuck with him because he was winning battles.
Conservative commentators like Dinesh D’Souza also criticized the network
‘He had a serious drinking problem but, man, was he a good general and he’s finally being recognized as a great general,’ he said. ‘Grant is a great general and Grant came from right here.’
Grant was born in Point Pleasant, about an hour away from Lebanon, where Trump made his remarks.
Conservative commentators were quick to point out NBC’s tweeted video only showed Trump’s remarks where he called Lee a ‘great’ general but did not show his praise of Grant.
‘Deliberately taken out of context. Trump is actually praising Grant for defeating the acclaimed Lee. But NBC pretends that Trump is praising the Confederacy #FakeNews,’ D’Souza tweeted with the clip NBC posted.
And a descendant of Robert E Lee slammed Trump for praising the Confederate icon.
Robert E Lee IV, a great-great-great nephew of the Civil War general, took to Twitter on Saturday to speak out against the relative he called an ‘idol of white supremacy’.
‘Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E Lee as a great general, as an honorable man,’ he told his followers.
‘These were far from the truth. Yet again our president is lying and showing his true colors, showing us that he supports an idol of white supremacy and of hatred.’
Robert E. Lee IV, a great-great-great nephew of the Civil War general, took to Twitter on Saturday to slam Donald Trump for praising the Confederate icon
‘Robert E Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies,’ he continued. ‘It was for states’ rights yes, but it was for states’ rights to own slaves.’
Lee IV went on to say that he was ‘saddened’ by the state of America.
‘But I’m encouraged because we are going to work to end this,’ he continued. ‘We are going to vote.’
‘We are going to show Donald Trump that white supremacy has no place in the parlors of our government.’
‘We are going to show him who the people are and what really matters in this nation. I encourage you to vote, I encourage you to make your voices heard this November.’
This isn’t the first time Lee IV has spoken out against his famous relative.
The pastor was invited to speak about his ancestor at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards after Heather Heyer was killed while peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Lee IV, a great-great-great nephew of the Civil War general, called his ancestor and ‘idol of white supremacy’
Lee, a pastor, was invited to speak about the general at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards after Heather Heyer was killed while peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville
Members of various hate groups – including neo-Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists – were in Charlottesville to attend a ‘Unite the Right’ gathering and protest the removal of a statue of Lee.
Lee IV stood beside Heyer’s mother on the MTV stage as he called his ancestor an ‘idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate’.
‘As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin,’ he told the audience.
‘Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on.’
‘We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.’
Members of various hate groups – including neo-Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists – were in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee (pictured)
Just weeks after his short speech, Lee stepped down as pastor from his North Carolina church after facing backlash from his own community
Just weeks after his short speech, Lee IV stepped down as pastor from his North Carolina church after facing backlash from his own community.
Meanwhile, Trump was tweeting in defense of monuments that honored Confederate icons like Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
‘Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,’ he wrote in one tweet.
‘You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!’
And Trump expanded on his praise for the general on Friday night in a bizarre tangent that includes claims that President Abraham Lincoln had developed a ‘phobia’ of the commander and subsequently sought help from General Ulysses S Grant.
The odd history lesson appears to have been Trump’s roundabout way of praising Grant, a native Ohioan who is ‘finally being recognized as a great general’.
‘[Ohio] also gave you a general who was incredible. He drank a little bit too much. You know who I’m talking about right? So Robert E Lee was a great general,’ he said.
‘And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn’t beat Robert E Lee. He was going crazy.
‘I don’t know if you know this story. But Robert E Lee was winning battle after battle after battle. And Abraham Lincoln came home, he said: ‘I can’t beat Robert E Lee.”
‘And he had all of his generals, they looked great, they were the top of their class at West Point. They were the greatest people. There’s only one problem — they didn’t know how the hell to win. They didn’t know how to fight. They didn’t know how.
‘And one day, it was looking really bad. And Lincoln just said: ‘You’, hardly knew his name. And they said: ‘Don’t take him, he’s got a drinking problem.’ And Lincoln said: ‘I don’t care what problem he has. You guys aren’t winning.”
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‘And his name was Grant. General Grant. And he went in and he knocked the hell out of everyone.’
‘He started to win. Grant really did — he had a serious problem, a serious drinking problem, but man was he a good general. And he’s finally being recognized as a great general.
‘But Lincoln had almost developed a phobia, because he was having a hard time with a true great fighter, a great general Robert E Lee. But Grant figured it out. And Grant is a great general, and Grant came from right here.’
Trump’s praise of Robert E Lee (above in an illustration from 1870) drew backlash particularly because of his past comments on the controversy surrounding Confederate statues
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