Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is vowing that no one will be removing or renaming landmark monuments in Washington, D.C., honoring historic figures who might have ties to slavery or racial oppression.
His comments came Wednesday on the Fox News show, “The Story with Martha MacCallum.” Fox News noted that a commission sanctioned by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said several federal monuments should be removed, relocated, or contextualized.
The commission’s list included monuments and buildings named after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Benjamin Franklin.
Bernhardt said: "My first thought is that no one -- no one -- will be removing or renaming the Washington Monument or the Jefferson Memorial," Bernhardt said. "None of that is going to happen. It's just simply nutty.
"Let’s take a step back into reality for a minute and recognize that each of these great individuals did great things. No one is saying that each of these individuals was a perfect human being."
And he pointed out that Franklin Roosevelt was the driving force behind the creation of the Jefferson Memorial.
“And as you walk into it and you see the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and other great things, I think that gives you a great sense of what American exceptionalism is about,” he said.
The Washington Post noted that Bowser later modified the monument list to remove specific federal properties over which the District has not control.
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