D.C. committee suggests removal of federal monuments, White House calls recommendations ‘ludicrous’

The committee concluded more than 50 government-owned assets are named after historical figures with a problematic past

Updated: September 2, 2020 - 7:44pm

The White House has denounced as "ludicrous" recommendations from a working group commissioned by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowers to either remove or alter eight federal monuments including the Washington Monument and a Christopher Columbus statue.

The group, the District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions, or DCFACES, recommended, in total, 65  government-owned statues or facilities inside the nation's capitol  – including the eight that are federally owned.

"More than 70% of assets named in the District of Columbia are named for white men, many of whom were not District residents. Priority should be placed on ensuring future assets, especially and including those recommended for renaming by this Working Group, include more women, people of color and LGBTQ Washingtonians.” the group concluded in its report released Monday.

The White House on Tuesday night criticized the recommendations, suggesting they were politically motivated and an effort to erase American history. 

“By publishing a plan that recommends potentially removing the Washington Monument, Christopher Columbus Statue, Andrew Jackson Statue, and Jefferson Memorial – among many other ludicrous recommendations – the radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C., is repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots: demolishing our history and destroying our great heritage,” the White House said.

Bowser, a Democrat who's largely considered a moderate but who has clashed in the past with President Trump, later removed the eight federally-owned "assets" from the working group's list.

The mayor's office attempted to clarify the matter in an email to the Washington Post stating the working group's mission is to focus on District-owned assets and that it did recommend removing those owned by the federal government. 

“Mayor Bowser has asked the [committee] to clarify and refine their recommendations to focus on local DC,” mayoral spokesperson LaToya Foster told the newspaper. She also said Bowser wanted to avoid confusion over the recommendation for the federal assets, which was “contextualizing, not removing” them.