The White House flatly rejected calls Tuesday by a Washington D.C. city committee to “remove, relocate or contextualize” historical statues and memorials, including some of the city's best-known tourist attractions.
A working group tasked by Mayor Muriel Bowser identified dozens of schools, parks, monuments, statues and buildings named after historical figures that they believe represent an oppressive or racist history.
The list of historical figures they identified included former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.
The list also included other key American figures like Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin and George Mason, inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell and composer of the national anthem Francis Scott Key.
“By publishing a plan that recommends potentially removing the Washington Monument, Christopher Columbus Statue, Andrew Jackson Statue, and Jefferson Memorial—among many other ludicrous recommendations—the radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C., is repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots: demolishing our history and destroying our great heritage,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our Nation’s capital is rightly filled with countless markers, memorials, and statues to honor and respect the men and women who built this country,” she added.
Bowser tasked the District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions (DCFACES) with identifying statues and memorials in the nation’s capital that are “inconsistent with DC values and in some way encouraged the oppression of African Americans and other communities of color or contributed to our long history of systemic racism.”
The D.C. mayor said she would review and advance the recommendations made by the committee.
U.S. Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt, echoed McEnany’s statement taking to twitter Tuesday to say, “Not on my watch. Never going to happen.”
Other GOP government officials took to Twitter to voice their frustrations or confusion on the latest effort to address racial inequality in the U.S.
“I'm not even sure what relocating the Washington Monument would entail,” wrote the White House Communications Director, Alyssa Farah.
Several historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, Andrew Jackson and Robert E. Lee have come under scrutiny for years due to historical injustices they incurred on Native Americans and Blacks in the U.S.
But new figures that many revere as honored historical figures, like the first president George Washington, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and Constitutional author James Madison, have become targets as well.
“President Donald J. Trump believes these places should be preserved, not torn down; respected, not hated; and passed on for generations to come,” McEnany said Tuesday.
“As long as President Trump is in the White House, the mayor’s irresponsible recommendations will go absolutely nowhere, and as the mayor of our Nation's capital city—a city that belongs to the American people—she ought to be ashamed for even suggesting them for consideration,” she added.
Fox News' Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.