Sen. Tom Cotton pushed back on critics Sunday who took his comments about slavery completely out of context, saying it is the very definition of “fake news.”
The Arkansas Republican’s original comments came during an interview with a local paper about a bill he sponsored that would strip schools that use The New York Times’s ‘1619 Project’ of federal funding.
“We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country,” he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”
Critics pounced on the remarks, falsely claiming that it was Cotton arguing slavery was a “necessary evil.”
Cotton corrected the "lies" on Twitter.
More lies from the debunked 1619 Project.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) July 26, 2020
Describing the *views of the Founders* and how they put the evil institution on a path to extinction, a point frequently made by Lincoln, is not endorsing or justifying slavery.
No surprise that the 1619 Project can't get facts right. https://t.co/nLsb73X3Gi
This is the definition of fake news.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) July 26, 2020
I said that *the Founders viewed slavery as a necessary evil* and described how they put the evil institution on the path to extinction, a point frequently made by Lincoln. https://t.co/SaWTTlMO7w
Cotton introduced the Saving American History Act of 2020, which "would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts," according to a statement. "Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants."
“The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded. Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage,” Cotton said about the legislation.