Historian: Trump said he could have made a deal to avoid the Civil War

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham said on Monday that President Trump once told him that he thought he could have made a deal to avert the Civil War.

“It’s a projection of the president’s fundamental and enveloping narcissism,” Meacham said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." “He told me a year ago that he thought he could have done a deal to have averted the war.”


Trump faced immediate backlash on Monday for his comments on the Civil War during an interview with the Washington Examiner. He insinuated that President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the war began, could have prevented the war had he served in office later.

"I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart," Trump said. "He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, 'There's no reason for this.'" 

Trump also questioned why the Civil War wasn't prevented.

"People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?” Trump said. 

Meacham told "Morning Joe" that Trump is confusing history.

“What he’s done is he’s taking two unrelated things, largely unrelated things and smashing them together like a couple of blocks,” Meacham said.

Trump told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson in March that he was “reading a book on Andrew Jackson” during his visit to Jackson’s former plantation, The Hermitage, in Nashville, Tenn.