Speed Reads

History Lesson

Trump reportedly thinks Canada burned down the White House. That was Britain. In 1812.

President Trump's rationale for piling tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the EU last week was certainly controversial. Turns out it's also historically questionable.

Trump cited "national security" when he imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on aluminum Friday. In a call on May 25, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Trump to explain the justification.

"Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" Trump replied, sources told CNN.

Middle school history graduates may recognize that it was actually Britain that committed that particular offense, and during the War of 1812. Of course, Canada was a British colony back then, and troops torched the White House in retaliation for an American attack in Ontario. So Trump could've been making an accurate joke — but CNN's source says it probably wasn't taken as one.