President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE> on Monday said he doesn't believe the federal government will pursue reparations for descendants of slaves, an idea that has gained traction among some Democrats.
"I don’t see it happening," Trump said in an exclusive interview with The Hill.
The House Judiciary Committee held the first hearing on the issue in a decade earlier this month, and a handful of Democratic presidential candidates seeking to challenge Trump in 2020 have broached the idea.
"I think it’s a very unusual thing," Trump said of the possibility of reparations. "You have a lot of — it’s been a very interesting debate. I don’t see it happening, no."
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held the hearing "to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility California governor predicts 'xenophobic' GOP will likely be third party in 15 years This week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request MORE> (R-Ky.) threw cold water on the idea of reparations earlier this month.
"I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea," McConnell said. "We've tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president."
Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeHicks repeatedly blocked by White House from answering Judiciary questions Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony On Juneteenth, demanding that reparations be more than lip service MORE> (D-Texas) reintroduced legislation this year initially crafted by former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersMcConnell: Reparations aren't 'a good idea' This week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive House to hold first hearing on slavery reparations in over a decade MORE> Jr. (D-Mich.) that calls for a study on reparations.
In the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE> (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren MORE> (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeCastro pushes back on O'Rourke criticism of plan to decriminalize border crossings Overnight Health Care: Key Trump drug pricing proposal takes step forward | Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic loses bid for license | 2020 Democrats to take part in Saturday forum on abortion rights Warren pledges to ban private prisons MORE> (D-Texas) were among those who voiced support for a bill commissioning a study on reparations.
Brett Samuels contributed.