Donald Trump praises Confederate icon Robert E. Lee at OH rally

Donald Trump cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally Friday Oct. 12 2018 in Lebanon Ohio

Evan Vucci APSupporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally Friday Oct. 12 2018 in Lebanon Ohio

Adding, "Robert E. Lee was a great general". "And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia". "He was going insane".

"He was going insane, I don't know if you know this story but Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle and Abraham Lincoln came home and said, 'I can't beat Robert E. Lee'". "But Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle".

Trump's praise of Lee drew instant criticism from the left, who claimed it was racist. "Frankly, give me six or seven more just like him'".

Trump explained that despite Lincoln's best efforts to draft a general who could win, he chose Grant to lead the northern armies, despite his drinking problem. "And his name was Grant, General Grant. And he went in and he knocked the hell out of everyone".

To further undermine the narrative of a dog whistle to his audience, the crowd did not applaud at the sound of Robert E. Lee's name, but applauded loudly when Trump mentioned Grant.

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