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EXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening'

President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE on Monday said he doesn't believe the federal government will pursue reparations for descendants of slaves, an idea that has gained traction among some Democrats.

"I don’t see it happening," Trump said in an exclusive interview with The Hill.

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The House Judiciary Committee held the first hearing on the issue in a decade earlier this month, and a handful of Democratic presidential candidates seeking to challenge Trump in 2020 have broached the idea.

"I think it’s a very unusual thing," Trump said of the possibility of reparations. "You have a lot of — it’s been a very interesting debate. I don’t see it happening, no."

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held the hearing "to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory Graham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' MORE (R-Ky.) threw cold water on the idea of reparations earlier this month.

"I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea," McConnell said. "We've tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president." 

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeRon Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory 40-year march: Only one state doesn't recognize Juneteenth MORE (D-Texas) reintroduced legislation this year initially crafted by former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersCalifornia comes to terms with the costs and consequences of slavery Democrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote House panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) that calls for a study on reparations.

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor MORE (D-Texas) were among those who voiced support for a bill commissioning a study on reparations.

Brett Samuels contributed.