Marianne Williamson pledges to remove Oval Office portrait of Andrew Jackson put there by Trump


Author and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said that she would remove the portrait of former President Andrew Jackson that hangs in the Oval Office if she is elected to be its next occupant.

Speaking at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum on Monday Williamson said, "We will begin by taking that picture of Andrew Jackson off the wall of the Oval Office. I am not a Native American woman, but I find it one of the greatest insults."

Hinting at the United States's historic mistreatment of Native Americans, Williamson said, "I want people of the United States to come to understand that what occurred on this planet was one of the great evils of history, but that I believe in redemption for nations as well for individuals."

"We can atone. We can make amends. And if and when I'm president of the United States, we will." she continued.

More: At Native American forum in Iowa, Elizabeth Warren apologizes for 'harm I have caused'

This comes as President Donald Trump has long alluded to Jackson as one of his favorite presidents.

In 2016 before taking office, he dismissed the move to replace Jackson on the $20 bill with abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman as "pure political correctness," and said at the time that Jackson "had a great history."

More: 2020 Democrats step up their courtship of Native American voters. Here's why.

Within days of his inauguration in January 2017, Trump selected a painting of Jackson from artwork in the White House collections to be displayed in the Oval Office.

Additionally, the president's use of the word "trail" in all caps in a tweet earlier this year was widely interpreted as a reference to the Trail of Tears in which Native Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the southeastern U.S. to reservations in Oklahoma in the 1800s. Thousands of them died from disease, starvation and exposure along the way. Jackson was president for at least part of the time that this mistreatment was perpetrated against Native Americans in the southern U.S.

More: Elizabeth Warren releases plan aimed at uplifting Native Americans as Trump says he'll revive nickname

After the event, Williamson said, "It is one of the great shames, the great pockmarks on the heart of the psyche of American history. This is not a president who should be shown the honor of his portrait hanging in the Oval Office."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marianne Williamson slams Andrew Jackson at Native American forum


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