President Barack Obama agrees with calls to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state House grounds in the wake of the church shooting that killed 9 African-American worshipers, the White House says.
Obama has said before that he believes the flag “belongs in a museum,” spokesman Eric Schultz said, “And that’s still his position.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham earlier Friday said he hoped the flag wasn’t used as an excuse for the shooter’s actions.
"We're not going to give this a guy an excuse about a book he might have read or a movie he watched or a song he listened to or a symbol out anywhere. It's him ... not the flag," the Republican presidential hopeful told CNN's "New Day."
Graham’s fellow Republican presidential hopeful, Jeb Bush, and then Secretary of State Katherine Harris, had a Confederate flag quietly removed from the Florida state Capitol in 2001, with little fanfare.
At a black history celebration at the governor's mansion soon after making the call, Bush said he had the flag and pole removed because Florida is a "progressive, forward-thinking state."
"I thought it was appropriate to take those flags down and put them in the museum where people can appreciate our heritage, but not have them fly as a symbol of what we are today as a state," Bush said.