On Wednesday, Donald Trump hosted what was supposed to be an “African-American History Month listening session,” but the president spent most of the beginning of the session talking, not listening.
He not only railed against the rumors, since debunked, that he had removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office but also praised the African Americans who have worked with his administration, such as Omarosa and Ben Carson.
In particular, Trump praised the National Museum of African American History and Culture, but when he did, he seemed to suggest that Frederick Douglass, a 19th-century African-American abolitionist who died in 1895, was still alive.
“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice,” Trump said.
Later that day, White House press secretary was asked by Yahoo News about Trump’s comments concerning Douglass. Given the chance to clarify those remarks, Sean Spicer replied, “I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made, and I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”