President Trump said he doesn't understand why the Civil War had to be fought instead of lawmakers finding a legislative way to avoid war.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner's Salena Zito, Trump compared himself to President Andrew Jackson and said Jackson, if he was born later, could have helped avoid the Civil War.
And then, in comments that whipped Washington into frenzy Monday morning, Trump said he didn't understand why the Civil War had to be fought.
"I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn't have had the Civil War," he said. "He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said 'There's no reason for this.'"
"People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"
Jackson, a slaveowner who once threatened South Carolina with a federal invasion if they did not abide by a protectionist tariff during the Nullification Crisis, died in 1845 and likely did not offer any direct comment on the Civil War.
Jackson was a fierce proponent of keeping the United States together as one country, even as it was clear the union was threatening to pull apart over slavery.