Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo
McConnell says he and Obama are both 'descendants of slaveholders'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brushed off a question about an NBC News report that his great-great-grandfathers owned slaves, saying it puts him in the same camp as former President Obama.
McConnell appeared to smile as a reporter asked him during a weekly press conference if he knew that his family once owned slaves, and if it changed his position on reparations for African Americans.
"You know, I find myself once again in the same position as President Obama. We both oppose reparations, and we both are the descendants of slaveholders," McConnell told reporters.
NBC News reported Monday that McConnell's great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves in Alabama.
The report came after McConnell said in June, ahead of a House hearing, that he opposed reparations, which would provide payments to descendants of slaves, saying, "None of us currently living are responsible."
"We've tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We've elected an African American president," he added.
The Baltimore Sun reported in 2007 that Obama's great-great-great-great-grandfather owned two slaves in Kentucky and that Obama's great-great-great-great-great-