Former South Carolina governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley stunned a lot of people when an interview of her discussing the Confederate flag went viral on Friday.
In the interview, which was done with Glenn Beck’s right-wing outlet “The Blaze,” Haley is discussing the 2015 Charleston Church shooting in which a white supremacist named Dylann Roof murdered nine African-American parishioners inside a church.
The former governor says that Roof “is this guy that comes out with this manifesto, holding the confederate flag and had just hijacked everything that people thought of … people saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it.”
Haley said of the shooting, “the national media came in in droves. They wanted to define what happened, they wanted to make this about racism, they wanted to make it about gun control, they wanted to make it about the death penalty and I really pushed off the national media.”
Here’s the clip:
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until Dylan Roof "hijacked" it pic.twitter.com/pqdhKIezRl— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 6, 2019
After Roof murdered the parishioners, Haley — who was then the governor of South Carolina — took down the flag from the statehouse in Columbia. Soon after that, during an interview with CNN, Haley said, “I think the more important part is it should have never been there.”
But before the Charleston shooting, Haley had defended the Confederate flag. During a debate in 2014, she said that in her role as governor, she didn’t see the flag as a deterrent to bringing business to South Carolina.
During that debate, Haley said “I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”
Though she’s currently on a break from politics, Haley’s star has been rising in the Trump era and she has defended the president from some of his critics in the White House.