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Congressional Black Caucus chairman: "John Kelly needs a history lesson"

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-Louisiana, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) says that President Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly is in need of a "history lesson" in light of his recent comments about the Civil War. Kelly said in a Fox News interview Monday evening that the war resulted from a "lack of an ability to compromise."

Richmond, in a scorching statement about the chief of staff's remarks, said that the CBC is "not surprised by the Trump White House's repeated attempts to whitewashing history or by its continued inability to apologize when it is flat out wrong."

Richmond said that the Civil War, contrary to Kelly's comments, was "not a disagreement between 'men and women of good faith on both sides.' It was a struggle for the soul of this country." 

He added, "thankfully the right side won the war and slavery is no longer the law of the land."

Kelly made the comment in an interview with Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham after she asked his opinion on pulling down monuments immortalizing the Confederacy. Kelly responded, "Well, history's history," and said there's a "lack of appreciation of history and what history is."

"There are certain things in history that were not so good and other things that were very, very good.  I think, I think we make a mistake, though, and as a society and certainly as, as individuals, when we take what is today accepted as right and wrong and go back 100, 200, 300 years or more and say what those, you know, what Christopher Columbus did was wrong."

He said the idea of applying current concepts of right and wrong so many years later is "very, very dangerous." As for Confederate general Robert E. Lee, Kelly called him an "honorable man."

"He was a man that gave up, gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country.  It was always loyalty to state first back in those days.  Now it's different today.  But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand," Kelly said.

Rep. Richmond also said that the Congressional Black Caucus will continue to call on Kelly to apologize for his "lies" regarding Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, who accused President Trump of insensitivity in a phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier.

Kelly says he has no intention of apologizing. 

Richmond ended his statement with a final swing at Kelly, saying that he was "starting to sound a lot like his boss."

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