Trent Lott

United States Senator from Mississippi

Chester Trent Lott, Sr. (born October 9, 1941) is a former American politician. He was the U.S. Senator from Mississippi and a member of the Republican Party between 1988 and 2007. Lott was known for socially conservative political views, and played a major role in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. He served as Senate Majority Leader between 1996 and 2001, and again briefly in 2001. He was expected to return as Senate Majority Leader after the Republicans won the 2002 United States Senate elections, but was forced to resign from the Senate Republican leadership after making comments praising Strom Thurmond's segregationist 1948 presidential campaign.

I've already seen enough.


You could say that I favored segregation then. I don't now.
When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. If the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years.




  • We need more meetings like this across the nation. The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy.
  • I'm sure you petroleum folks understand that solar power will solve all our problems. How much money have we blown on that? This is the hippies' program from the seventies and they're still pushing this stuff.
    • On solar energy in a speech to the Independent Petroleum Association of America, as quoted in The Washington Post (23 May 1997).


  • This is not the way it has been done. We would never surprise each other … It's not to say that there's not important information that we could discuss or would be discussed in secret or closed session, but I'm astounded by this. I don't really know what the tenor of this is, what is the justification for it and why this extreme approach was used.
    • On the closure of the Senate to discuss intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq (1 November 2005), as quoted in The Associated Press (1 November 2005).
  • I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either.
    • On Strom Thurmond, from a speech at Thurmond's 100th birthday party (5 December 2002)
  • I've already seen enough. Why would I want to go see a bunch of perverted pictures?
  • I am an advocate of having a gold dollar with Reagan's picture on it, and calling it the Ronnie. The Canadians have the Loonie, and we can have the Ronnie.
    • On Ronald Reagan, as quoted in an interview in the New York Times Sunday Magazine (20 June 2004).
  • I want the President to look across the country and find the best man woman or minority that he can find.
  • I don't agree with the libertarians. I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that.
    • On security versus liberty, as quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer (17 December 2005).
    • c.f. Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
  • Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israelis and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.
  • The filibuster of federal district and circuit judges cannot stand. … It's bad for the institution. It's wrong. It's not supportable under the Constitution. And if they insist on persisting with these filibusters, I'm perfectly prepared to blow the place up. No problem.
  • I support the Kinder-Guardians program. We in America would be wise to implement it, too. It's something that we should think about, America, about putting guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, good guys, whether they be teachers or whether they actually be talented children or highly-trained preschoolers.
    • On arming 3 year old children, as quoted in "Who is America" Episode 1 on Showtime



Quotes about Lott

  • Any suggestion that a segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong. Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals, and the founding ideals of our nation, and in fact the founding ideals of the political party I represent, was and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American.
  • Here is a Civil War movie that Trent Lott might enjoy.
  • In 2002, Strom Thurmond, the unrepentant white supremacist and segregationist, turned one hundred years old. His birthday party was attended by then-president George W. Bush, among a roster of other political figures. Trent Lott, the Republican leader in the Senate, said in celebration, "I want to say this about my state [Mississippi]: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." Segregation and Jim Crow had been part of Thurmond's platform during that campaign.
    • Mary L. Trump, The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal (2021), 1st Edition, New York: St. Martin's Press, p. 155
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