Donald Trump really wants you to know that he thinks those that choose to display the controversial Confederate flag are just voicing their 'freedom of speech' so much so, that he'll say it over and over again.
During an interview with CBS' Catherine Herridge, which was broadcast on Tuesday, the president was asked about his thoughts on the Confederate flag in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movements that the whole world has witnessed this year.
The flag, which is synonymous with the American south during the Civil War, who wanted to preserve slavery has come under scrutiny in recent months due to his problematic history. The flag is still widely displayed across America and many statues of generals, who fought for the Confederacy are still standing. Efforts have been made to revise the widespread use of the flag, most notably with the motorsport, a popular spectacle in southern states, who have opted to ban all use of the flag at their events.
Trump, who has previously said that his stance on displaying the flag is a 'freedom of speech' was asked if his opinion had changed with Herridge pointing out that in 2015 he had said the flag belonged in a museum. Unsurprisingly, Trump's opinion hadn't changed but this time he really wanted to let the world know that he thinks it is 'freedom of speech.' This is what he said, verbatim:
All I say is freedom of speech. It's very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech. Very strong views on the confederate flag. With me it's freedom of speech. Very simple. Like it. Don't like it. It's freedom of speech.
Herridge then asked the president if he would be comfortable with his own supporters showing the flag and his events. You can guess what his answer was.
It depends on what your definition is. I am comfortable with freedom of speech. It's very simple.
Herridge then asked Trump if he understood why the flag is a painful to some as it is a reminder of America's troubled history with slavery.
Well, people love it. I know people that like the Confederate flag and they are not thinking about slavery. I look at Nascar, you go to Nascar and you had those flags all over the place. They stopped it. 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.
It's safe to say that Trump has made his stance on the issue very clear but his excuse that displaying the flag is 'freedom of speech' didn't wash with everyone.
Although the Black Lives Matter protests have dropped from the headlines protests and activism have still continued throughout the United States and the rest of the world, demanding an end to injustice, inequality and systematic racism.