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

President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney: 'Pretty sure' Trump would win 2024 GOP nomination if he ran for president Pence huddles with senior members of Republican Study Committee Trump says 'no doubt' Tiger Woods will be back after accident 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 McConnellMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat The Patriot Party already exists — it's the Democrats 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 LeeThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats ready mammoth relief bill for 10-day sprint House subcommittee debates reparations bill for Black Americans House subpanel to hold hearing on reparations for Black Americans MORE (D-Texas) reintroduced legislation this year initially crafted by former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersHouse subcommittee debates reparations bill for Black Americans House subpanel to hold hearing on reparations for Black Americans Bottom line MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) that calls for a study on reparations.

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCollins: Biden's .9T coronavirus package won't get any Senate GOP votes House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill Biden's immigration bill could wreck his majority, but Democrats have opportunity to do the right thing MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders has right goal, wrong target in fight to help low-wage workers Democrats in standoff over minimum wage Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTexas Republican criticizes Cruz for Cancun trip: 'When a crisis hits my state, I'm there' Progressives target 'Cancun Cruz' in ad to run on 147 Texas radio stations 'Get off TV': Critics blast Abbott over handling of Texas power outages following winter storm MORE (D-Texas) were among those who voiced support for a bill commissioning a study on reparations.

Brett Samuels contributed.