Administration

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

President Trump 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.

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 McConnell (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 Lee (D-Texas) reintroduced legislation this year initially crafted by former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) that calls for a study on reparations.

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) were among those who voiced support for a bill commissioning a study on reparations.

Brett Samuels contributed.

Outbrain