Many critics are not buying Donald Trump’s claim that he has been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln, the president who was shot to death by an assassin.
Trump made the controversial remark on Sunday night at a town hall held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. During the Fox News event, Trump said that there has never been a president treated worse by members of the press than him.
“The closest would be that gentleman right up there,” Trump said, pointing to the statue of Lincoln behind him. “They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”
Trump went on to say that he is forced to field questions from members of the press that he called “disgraceful,” both in their words and manner of addressing them. Trump added that he would be “walked off the stage” if he were kind to them.
The claim that he was treated worse than Lincoln drew an immediate pushback from the internet, with many taking to Twitter to remind Trump that Lincoln was murdered by a political opponent, John Wilkes Booth. The term “Lincoln” shot to the top of Twitter trends, and many of the president’s opponents expressed shock at his assertion.
One of those to respond was PBS News reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who has been a target of Trump’s anger a number of times.
“Video of President Trump, sitting at the feet of the Lincoln Memorial, saying is he being treated worse than President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated after freeing enslaved people across America,” she tweeted.
Trump has frequently gone after Alcindor in incidents critics see as having racial undertones, including a recent one where the president responded to a question about his claim that states don’t need as many ventilators as they are requesting by telling Alcindor that “you people” need to be more positive when addressing him.
Some context: Lincoln was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head while enjoying a play with his wife. https://t.co/r9bSyhxhn6— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) May 4, 2020
Honestly surprised the statue of Lincoln hasn't gotten up and left.— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) May 4, 2020
This is not the first time that Trump has stoked controversy by invoking the 16th president. Back in 2018, he claimed to be more popular than Lincoln and cited a poll that critics said didn’t actually exist.
“You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party — 92 percent,” Trump claimed, referencing a poll that could not be found. “Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe.”
In response to the claim, Vice noted that Trump finished dead last in the Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness survey, which asks historians to rank all of the presidents in the history of the U.S.