(CNN)Presidents look back on past precedents (and presidents) perhaps more so than people in most other positions. That’s why this Presidents’ Day, we’re taking a look at some of the things President Donald Trump has said about the men who came before him.
Sometimes, he invokes their names to prove a point. Often he compares himself to them. And then there was that time he confirmed for us what had already been proven — that one former president was, indeed, born in America.George Washington”And we stand united behind the customs, beliefs and traditions that define who we are as a nation and as a people. George Washington said that ‘religion and morality are indispensable’ to America’s happiness.” That was Trump at the 2017 Values Voter Summit. We also stand united behind George Washington. Who doesn’t love George Washington?Read MoreThomas Jefferson”What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?” Trump said this when addressing controversy over removing Confederate statues in August 2017. For the record, we are allowed to condemn someone’s major flaws without “changing history,” as Trump also said.Andrew Jackson (and also John Quincy Adams)”Jackson’s victory shook the establishment like an earthquake. Henry Clay, secretary of state for the defeated President John Quincy Adams, called Jackson’s victory ‘mortifying and sickening.’ Oh, boy, does this sound familiar.” Trump spoke during a visit to Jackson’s home in Tennessee. Jackson was also kind of a terrible person to a lot of people. Abraham Lincoln “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.” Trump said this in July. It remains to be seen if that’s how history will remember him, but okay.Ulysses S. Grant “President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation making Christmas a federal holiday, and I sort of feel we’re doing that again.” No event seems quite up Trump’s alley like the National Christmas Tree lighting, where he talked about fellow Christmas fan Ulysses S. Grant. Staying true to his campaign promise, Trump said Christmas enough for all of us during his first year in office.William McKinley”William McKinley, does anybody know who the hell he is? Do you know who he is? William McKinley understood that when America protects our workers and our industries, we open up a higher and better destiny for our people.” Trump was speaking during a rally in McKinley’s home state of Ohio, presumably the one place where people should know who the hell he is.Harry Truman”It was 70 years ago that the National Turkey Federation first presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey to President Harry Truman — who, I might add, did not grant the pardon. He refused. He was a tough cookie.” This is Trump speaking in November, before showing mercy to a turkey of his own. Drumstick, I hope you know how lucky you are.Franklin Roosevelt”As FDR once said, ‘Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.'” Trump made a big deal of self-funding his own campaign during its early days. He did not do so. Lyndon Johnson”I respect Lyndon Johnson because he was one smart cookie. But, I mean, Lyndon Johnson was a major player. He was a very, very tough cookie.”Being tough is the best compliment Trump can give you.George H.W. Bush”I was with George Bush today. I listened to George Bush. I listened to what he said. I believe very strongly what he said. I think he’s going to be a great president.” Trump may have said this at the 1988 Republican National Convention, but does he think Bush was as good a president as him? See: Abraham LincolnBarack Obama “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” After much hype, Trump said that in 2016, after years of questioning the provenance of his immediate predecessor. In case there were any doubts.