Sarah Sanders on Robert E. Lee: "All of our leaders have flaws"

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks during a daily briefing at the White House on October 19, 2017.

Other historians said that Kelly, as a White House official, should be held to a higher standard. "There is no compromise between slavery and freedom".

During an interview on the debut edition of Laura Ingraham's new Fox News show Monday night, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly praised Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and openly expressed sympathy for the Confederate cause.

Days after the protest, in which anti-racism activist Heather Heyer was killed, President Donald Trump criticized the removal of Confederate monuments, tweeting "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our lovely statues and monuments".

"There are certain things in history that were good, and other things that were not so good", he said. Her tweet quoting Mr. Kelly's "lack of ability to compromise" statement spread quickly.

"What is the compromise that they're talking about?"

The war was fought from 1861 to 1865 after Southern slave-owning states seceded from mostly non-slave Northern states.

"Focus on compromise only makes sense if you view slavery as bad but not *that* bad", Bouie later wrote.

"There are a lot of historians that think that, and there are a lot of different versions of those compromises", she said.


"He didn't get into the specifics because that's something that's been discussed very widely many by historians, again, from both the left the right, the north, the south, however you want to look at it", Sanders said.

Sanders was then pushed by another reporter on whether the administration would "at least acknowledge" that Kelly's comments "are deeply offensive to some folks and historically inaccurate".

"Because you don't like history doesn't mean that you can erase it and pretend that it didn't happen", Sanders said. I call it familiar for a personal reason: Growing up as a white kid in the Jim Crow South, this is very much what I was taught, both in school and by a Confederacy-saturated culture.

She also acknowledged during Tuesday's White House press briefing that 'all of our leaders have flaws, ' looking at Lee. I think those moments took place. "That's the type of thing that I think is really a problem". The ad depicted a truck with a Confederate flag and a bumper sticker for Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie chasing down a group of multi-cultural children down a suburban street. While he didn't expect Kelly to be an expert in American history, he did expect a better understanding of history from someone who attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Foner said.

While Kelly and Sanders both spoke of a possible compromise to avert the war between the Union and Confederacy, a long series of compromises related to slavery were hashed out between the North and South prior to the outbreak of war.

In the almost 30-year-old Burns documentary, Foote - the author of a three-volume set of books on the conflict that came out in 1986 - explained that the Civil War happened 'because we failed to do the thing we really have a genius for, which is compromise'.

Eric Foner, a historian at Columbia University, told NBC that compromise was actually attempted several times before the Civil War.

The Missouri Compromise, in 1820, admitted Missouri to the union as a slave state; in exchange, it admitted ME as a free state and barred slavery in most parts of the Louisiana Purchase territory north of a specified latitude.

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