Nikki Haley, who formerly served as the South Carolina governor and then as the Trump administration U.N. ambassador, blamed “the national media” for making a white supremacist’s 2015 massacre of nine black churchgoers at a historic African American church “about racism.”
In an interview with Glenn Beck, Haley also said that the murderer, Dylann Roof, “hijacked” the supposedly virtuous nature of the Confederate battle flag.
“Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and had just hijacked everything that people thought of,” she said.
“We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority that’s always going to be there, but people saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage.”
Roof posed in online photos with the Confederate flag. After the massacre, bipartisan pressure and protest called for the flag to be removed from state capitol grounds. One of the nine people killed was the state senator Clementa C. Pinckney.
“Once he did that,” Haley said of Roof’s attack, “there was no way to overcome it.”
“The national media came in in droves,” she continued. “They wanted to define what happened. They wanted to make this about racism, they wanted to make this about gun control, they wanted to make it about the death penalty.”
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