A possible running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said lawmakers should listen to arguments for and against removing statues of George Washington.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) was asked twice about the issue during an appearance on CNNs “State of the Union.”
Anchor Dana Bash noted that Duckworth supports renaming military bases that are named after Confederate leaders but pointed to people demanding that statues of former presidents such as Washington and Thomas Jefferson come down.
Duckworth was asked if statues of Washington should come down.
“Well, let me just say that we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point,” Duckworth responded. “But, right now, were in the middle of a global pandemic.”
Duckworth also accused President Donald Trump, a Republican, of spending time during his speech Mount Rushmore on July 3 “honoring dead Confederates.” A review of Trumps speech shows no mention of the Confederacy or Confederates.
Duckworth later said Trump “spent all his time talking about dead traitors.”
Bash pressed the senator, saying no one would call Washington a traitor and asking her if it would be a good idea to remove statues of him.
“I think we should listen to everybody. I think we should listen to the argument there,” Duckworth responded.
“But remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty.”
Duckworths office didnt respond to a request for comment, nor did Bidens campaign.
Ben Williamson, a deputy assistant to Trump, said in a statement after the appearance: “In one weekend we have now seen prominent Democrats come out against Mount Rushmore, statues of George Washington, and the Fourth of July.”
At least one statue of Washington has been toppled in recent weeks as vandals and rioters take down a number of carvings across the nation. Another was defaced.
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