The federal government is using our tax dollars to protect Confederate cemeteries.

The government has spent $3 million on cemetery security since August 2017, according to The Associated Press. An additional $1.6 million has been factored in the budget for the 2019 fiscal year. All but one of the eight cemeteries have expensive around-the-clock surveillance.

The cemeteries fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veteran Affairs and are located in the northern part of the country. Spokeswoman Jessica Schiefer said the guards are necessary “to ensure the safety of staff, property and visitors paying respect to those interred.”

It is unclear when the surveillance will end. The AP speculated the guards were a response to the increased vandalism of Confederate statues and monuments after Dylann Roof gunned down nine churchgoers at Emanuel AME Church in 2015. The destruction of several Confederate States of America markers following Charlottesville may have also been a factor.

This discovery comes three days after Donald Trump praised Confederate general Robert E. Lee. He made the comments during a speech at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio.

“So Robert E. Lee was a great general. And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle,” he said.

“And Abraham Lincoln came home, he said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee.’ They said to Lincoln, ‘You can’t use him anymore, he’s an alcoholic.’ And Lincoln said, ‘I don’t care if he’s an alcoholic, frankly, give me six or seven more just like him.’ He started to win.”

Following the praise of the general who fought against his former country in defense of slavery, Trump asked Black people to “honor” the GOP with votes.

“Get away from the Democrats,” he said. “Think of it: We have the best numbers in history. … I think we’re going to get the African American vote, and it’s true.”

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