The US president’s improbable claim came during a roundtable discussion on Venezuela at his Doral golf resort in Florida, in which he largely ignored the issue of the South American country and instead praised his administration’s handling of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 Americans.
“The Republican Party has grown incredibly from when it was and we have a whole different group of people in the Republican Party,” Mr Trump said on Friday.
“Like people don’t remember, nobody ever heard of it until I came along, nobody remembered it for a long time, or they didn’t use it at least, I use it all the time: Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. You know you say that and people say, ‘I didn’t know that’, but he was Republican, so we’re doing a great job.”
In fact, Lincoln, who abolished slavery and led the Union to victory in the American civil war, is the first and one of the most iconic Republican presidents in history.
He came second only to Ronald Reagan in a poll voted on by Americans over the title of “greatest American” in history.
During the roundtable, Mr Trump also falsely accused rival nominee for president Joe Biden of trying to “impose socialism” on the US, wrongly suggested the Democratic Party wanted to “rip down statues to Jesus”, and said cities with Democrat political leaders were “going to hell”.