Trevor Noah: There's a reason the movie isn't called '12 years a lack of compromise'

Late-night host Trevor Noah on Tuesday mocked White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE for his comments that a "lack of ability to compromise" led to the Civil War.

“The lack of an ability to compromise didn’t lead to the Civil War. Slavery led to the Civil War," Noah said on "The Daily Show."

"There’s a reason the movie isn’t called '12 Years a Lack of Compromise.' ”

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelly made the comments during an interview earlier this week on Fox News. 

“There are certain things in history that were good, and other things that were not so good,” Kelly said.

“The lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand."

Kelly also said Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was an "honorable man."

“He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country,” Kelly said during the interview. “Now, it’s different.”

During his show, Noah joked that Kelly is right.

“There are a lot of despicable things in history that were accepted at that time that we don’t accept today," Noah said.

"We can’t change that. Like Crocs. It happened. But not all things in history are equally excusable — like slavery."

At the time, half of America was against slavery, Noah said.

"We know this because they fought a war," he said.

“You know who else knew that slavery was wrong? All the slaves. Nobody was out there picking cotton thinking, ‘Hey, man, I wonder if in 200 years we’ll realize that this was some shit we actually hated.’ "

The White House on Tuesday defended Kelly's comments. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said many historians would agree with Kelly.

"I do know that many historians, including Shelby Foote in Ken Burns' famous Civil War documentary, agreed that a failure to compromise was a cause of the Civil War," she said.

"There are a lot of historians that think that and there are a lot of different versions of those compromises. I’m not going to get up here and relitigate the Civil War, but there’s certainly, I think, some historical documentation that many people ... believe that if some of the individuals engaged had been willing to come to some compromises on different things then it may not have occurred."