President Donald Trump is defending Americans’ right to display the Confederate flag.
During an interview with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge on Tuesday, Trump was asked about his 2015 claim that the Confederate flag belongs in a museum and if that is still his stance.
“All I say is, freedom of speech. It’s very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech,” Trump responded. “Very strong views on the Confederate flag. With me, it’s freedom of speech very simple. Like it, don’t like, it’s freedom of speech.”
When asked if he would be “comfortable” with his supporters displaying the Confederate flag at his campaign rallies, he said, “I am comfortable with freedom of speech.”
Herridge then pressed him on the history of the flag. She asked, “You understand why the flag is a painful symbol for many people because it’s a reminder of slavery?”
He argued that many people like to display the flag but do not support slavery or the legacy of the Confederacy, “Well, people love it, and I don’t view– I know people like the Confederate flag, and they’re not thinking about slavery.”
“I just think it’s freedom of speech, whether it’s Confederate flags or Black Lives Matter, or anything else you want to talk about. It’s freedom of speech,” he added.
Watch the video below:
The confederate flag “is freedom of speech,” Pres. Trump says when asked whether he still believes the flag belongs in a museum. “Whether it’s confederate flags or Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about. It’s freedom of speech.” pic.twitter.com/WtdESdmCSy
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 14, 2020
Trump has received criticism of his defense of the Confederate flag and statues of Confederate leaders, as IJR reported.
Last week, Trump lashed out at NASCAR for its decision to ban the flag at its events.
However, his defense of the display of the flag appears to stand in contrast to comments he made in 2015. At the time, Trump said, “I think they should put it in the museum and let it go.”
This week, Pres. Trump railed against removal of "beautiful" Confederate statues — a far cry from his 2015 statement on the Confederate flag pic.twitter.com/5CMyfkgcKZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 18, 2017
“Respect whatever it is you have to respect, because it was a point in time, and put it in a museum. But I would take it down,” he added.
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