Historian says Trump claimed he could have 'done a deal' to avert the Civil War

Presidential historian Jon Meacham said Tuesday that President Donald Trump told him last year that he could have negotiated a deal to avert the Civil War.

On Monday, Trump asked a Sirius XM radio host why the Civil War "could not have been worked out," and claimed that President Andrew Jackson was outraged by the war and would have avoided it, despite the fact that Jackson died 16 years before the war began.

Speaking to MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the famous historian dismissed Trump's argument as a "projection of the president's fundamental and enveloping narcissism," and recalled an interview with Trump last year during which the then-Republican presidential candidate mentioned the Civil War.

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U.S. President Donald Trump leads a rally marking his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump leads a rally marking his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
HARRISBURG, PA - APRIL 29: A protester is led away during a 'Make America Great Again Rally'at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center April 29, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. President Trump held a rally to mark his first 100 days of his presidency. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
HARRISBURG, PA - APRIL 29: A protester is led away by the police during a 'Make America Great Again Rally'at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center April 29, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. President Trump held a rally to mark his first 100 days of his presidency. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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"He told me a year and a half ago that he could've done a deal to avert the war," Meacham said.

He added: "The presidency itself enhances your fundamental characteristics. It's very hard once you're there to change. Some people do, and that's why we call them as great presidents. But most people once they enter the Oval Office just become more like themselves."

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Meacham is frequently cited as a preeminent Jacksonian expert.

In recent months, Meacham has cautioned Trump against fully embracing the Jacksonian presidential model, noting Jackson's brutality towards minorities and unapologetic slave ownership.

Watch the clip via NBC:

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