Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fired back after an NBC report on Monday tied him to his slave-owning ancestors.
According to the report, two of McConnell’s great-grandfathers — James McConnell and Richard Daley — owned at least 14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama, based on data from the 1850 and 1860 censuses’ “slave schedules.”
McConnell fired back at the report on Tuesday, telling reporters that he found himself in the “same position” as former President Barack Obama, in that they “both opposed reparations” and are both “the descendants of slave-owners.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 9, 2019
“I find myself once again in the same position as President Obama,” McConnell said. “We both opposed reparations and we both are the descendants of slave-owners.”
Some Twitter users blasted the report, with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeting that it was “stunning to see” this kind of report come from “a major news outlet.”
“Even given the derangement gripping our current politics it’s still stunning to see a major news outlet write up something like this,” wrote Rubio.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 9, 2019
Is NBC News going to research the great-great-grandparents, and their activities between 1850-1860, of all senators, or just Mitch McConnell? Is this the first in a series? https://t.co/VBNondjWIp
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 9, 2019
If you wonder why President Trump routinely says he doesn't trust the press…
This is why ⬇️
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) July 9, 2019
The report’s publishing came after the Senate majority leader pushed back against the idea of reparations last month, saying that he did not believe it was a “good idea” as “none of us currently living are responsible.”
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, when none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea,” McConnell said. “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.”
“We’re always a work in progress in this country,” added McConnell. “But no one currently was alive was responsible for that.”