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Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley said that shooter Dylann Roof hijacked the meaning of the Confederate flag when, in 2017, he attacked a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., in an interview with The Blaze.

What she's saying: "People saw [the Confederate flag] as service, and sacrifice and heritage," Haley said, adding, "the national media came 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."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Context: Haley was the governor of South Carolina at the time of the shooting. She characterized South Carolinians' view of the flag in similar terms at the time, as she called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds, The New York Times reported.

  • Roof, a self-described white supremacist, was found guilty and sentenced to death in 2017 for killing nine people, the New York Times reports.
  • In a tweet on Friday, Haley recalled the shooting as "a painful time for our state."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: The deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history

Editor's note: The post has been updated to include additional context.

Go deeper

FBI director: Jan. 6 Capitol attack was domestic terrorism

The FBI views the Jan. 6 Capitol siege as an act of domestic terrorism, director Christopher Wray testified in his opening statement Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The FBI's designation of the attack as domestic terrorism puts the perpetrators "on the same level with ISIS and homegrown violent extremists," Wray said.

Sen. Martin Heinrich to introduce plan for Puerto Rico statehood

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) at a hearing on Feb. 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. PHOTO: Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) announced Tuesday they would introduce legislation to start the motions for Puerto Rico statehood.

Why it matters: More than 52% of Puerto Ricans voted last November in favor of statehood, three years after Hurricane Maria struck the island and caused one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. It exposed the island's vulnerable position as a U.S. territory and its lack of resources to battle poverty.

J&J and Merck to partner for COVID vaccine production to boost supply

Empty vials that contained a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the COVID-19. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will announce Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture its newly authorized coronavirus vaccine to boost supply, a senior administration official tells Axios.

The big picture: The development has the potential to vastly increase supply, possibly doubling what the J&J could make on its own, the official said. The company has run into challenges while trying to expand its vaccine production to a global scale.