BLM protesters in London
© Getty Images/Maciek Musialek
President Trump has said the Department of Education is investigating schools that implement the New York Times' 1619 Project, which teaches that America was founded on racism, and those institutions could lose federal funding.

Trump made his declaration in a Sunday tweet, responding to a message claiming that California schools have begun teaching the 1619 curriculum.

"Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!" he tweeted.

The 1619 Project has inspired heated debate about American history and how it is viewed. It is based on a series of essays from the New York Times Magazine that claims US history began in 1619 - the year recognized as that when the first African slaves arrived in Virginia.

The Project also claims capitalism was founded on slavery and black people have contributed more to democracy than white people.

Several school districts across the country have adopted the 1619 Project into their curriculum.

Republicans have been staunchly opposed to schools using this as a basis for how they teach American history. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) even introduced a bill in July that would strip funding from schools that use the 1619 Project as part of their curriculum.

The project was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, but it has been disputed and slammed by critics as inaccurate and agenda-driven for its more outlandish takes on history, such as the claim the American Revolutionary War was fought partly to preserve slavery in the US.

Still, the project has plenty of support on the left, and Trump's declaration has only inflamed those supporters, and the project's leader, on social media.

The president's 1619 tweet was posted after he directed the Office of Management and Budget to crack down on federal agencies teaching racial sensitivity training related to "white privilege" and "critical race theory," which was blasted in a Friday memo as "anti-American propaganda."