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Mike Pence defends Confederate monuments

Vice President Mike Pence sat for an extensive interview with Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt on Tuesday, discussing everything from President Trump's newly announced military strategy in Afghanistan to the roiling national debate over appropriate historical statues.

On the latter point, Pence defended Confederate monuments, like the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that sparked the deadly white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. He condemned the activists who have taken to unilaterally felling statues, saying that destroying public property "in the name of any cause" is unacceptable, and he said the decisions "about what displays happen" should be left to local communities.

Pence then made the argument that the statues are reflections of our history — while perhaps offering a generous rewrite of it. "What we have to walk away from is the desire by some to erase parts of our history in the name of some contemporary political cause," Pence said. It's unclear exactly what the vice president meant by "some contemporary political cause" — but the Civil War was the deadliest war in American history and fought due to the desire of some states to defend the right to own other human beings.

Watch Pence's full interview with Earhardt below, with the discussion of Confederate monuments beginning at the 12:46 mark. Kimberly Alters

Editor's note: This article has been slightly revised since publication to better contextualize the vice president's comments.