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Trump says he will pardon suffrage icon Susan B. Anthony

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania participate Tuesday in an event honoring the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, in the Blue Room of the White House. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/UPI/Pool
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania participate Tuesday in an event honoring the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, in the Blue Room of the White House. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/UPI/Pool | License Photo

Aug. 18 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will posthumously pardon suffrage icon Susan B. Anthony for her arrests nearly 150 years ago for unlawfully voting.

Trump made the comments during a White House ceremony recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted American women the right to vote.

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"I can't believe this hasn't happened before," Trump said of pardoning Anthony, who violated laws that permitted only men to vote. "She got pardons for a lot of other women and she didn't put her name on the list. We are going to be signing a full and complete pardon."

Anthony, who fought for women's right to vote over five decades, illegally voted in the 1872 presidential election by casting a ballot in Rochester, N.Y. She was subsequently arrested, convicted and fined $100, the equivalent of about $2,200 today. She died in 1906 at the age of 86.

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Trump called the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "a monumental victory for equality and justice" in the United States.

"Today, a record-breaking 131 women are serving in Congress," he said. "Nearly 70 million women vote in elections, 56% of our nation's of our nation's college students are women, more than 11 million women own successful businesses.

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"In other words, women dominate the United States."

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Trump used Tuesday's ceremony to criticize former first lady Michelle Obama for her speech Monday night during the Democratic National Convention, in which she heavily criticized Trump and called for a change in leadership.

"Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country," she said. "He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

When questioned Tuesday, Trump seemed to take issue with the former first lady's popularity.

"She was over her head. And, frankly, she should have made the speech live, which she didn't do. She taped it," he said, calling her speech "divisive."

"You know, she gets these fawning reviews. If you gave a real review, it wouldn't be so fawning."

Trump also continued to attack voting by mail, claiming that ballots sent "haphazardly" around the country would lead to widespread fraud. Political and electoral experts, however, have been in near universal agreement that Trump's claims about potential voter fraud are false.

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