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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform 'was vicious' White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report 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 McConnellProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Pelosi signals flexibility on size of renewed unemployment payments Lincoln Project reports raising .8 million for anti-Trump efforts 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 LeeTexas Democrats call for new stay-at-home order Local reparations initiatives can lead to national policy remedying racial injustice House to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling MORE (D-Texas) reintroduced legislation this year initially crafted by former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersLocal reparations initiatives can lead to national policy remedying racial injustice Former impeachment managers clash over surveillance bill VA could lead way for nation on lower drug pricing MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) that calls for a study on reparations.

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMost in new poll say Biden running mate won't influence their vote Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Trump attacks Biden clean energy plan while announcing environmental rollback Car on fire near Supreme Court MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeHegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset MORE (D-Texas) were among those who voiced support for a bill commissioning a study on reparations.

Brett Samuels contributed.