Every living US president, including Obama, is descendant of slave owners, except Donald Trump: Report

July 22, 2023 in News by RBN Staff




Yahoo News

Business Insider


All current and former living US presidents have had at least one ancestor who used to own slaves, with the sole exception of Donald Trump, an investigation by Reuters has found.

On Tuesday, Reuters released the genealogies of “America’s political elite” data where it found that President Joe Biden and all of his predecessors still alive have descended from ancestors who enslaved Black people.

Even Barack Obama — the country’s first Black president — is the descendant of a slaveowner from his white mother’s side of the family.

According to Reuters, the slaveholding ancestors of living US presidents are:

  • George Bush — One director ancestor, six generations removed, owned 25 slaves
  • Bill Clinton — One director ancestor, five generations removed, owned one slaves
  • Jimmy Carter — One director ancestor, four generations removed, owned 54 slaves
  • Barack Obama — One director ancestor, six generations removed, owned two slaves
  • Joe Biden — One direct ancestor, five generations removed, owned one slave

List also includes judges, senators

Apart from that, it was further discovered that two Supreme Court justices, 11 governors, and 100 members of Congress are also the direct descendants of slaveholders.

Sitting members of Congress who can link their heritage to slavers include at least 28 per cent of Republicans and 8 per cent of Democrats.

They include Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrats like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth.

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“The preponderance of Republicans reflects the party’s strength in the South, where slavery was concentrated. Although white people enslaved Black people in northern states in early America, by the eve of the Civil War, slavery was almost entirely a southern enterprise,” the Reuters report stated.

Trump, the sole exception

While all American presidents have deep ancestral roots in US, Trump’s ancestors immigrated to the United States only after slavery was abolished in 1865, the Reuters report said.

Notably, none of Trump’s grandparents were born in the US. His paternal grandparents were born in Kallstadt, a small town in southwestern Germany, and emigrated to the US in the early 1900s. His mother Mary was born in Scotland, reports Business Insider.

Reuters said it collated tens of thousands of pieces of information contained in thousands of pages of documents to trace the lineages of the political elite.

They claimed that they only considered evidence of slaveholding that occurred after the founding of the US Journalists, who researched direct lineal descendants of the present-day elite rather than focusing on family trees that included distant cousins.

(With inputs from agencies)