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Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered that the chamber's clerk remove portraits of former House speakers who served the Confederacy from display in the Capitol in a letter sent Thursday.

The big picture: Pelosi wrote that the portraits should be removed "to appropriately observe Juneteenth," the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.

  • "The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation's work to confront and combat bigotry," Pelosi wrote.
  • Pelosi last week requested that statues honoring the Confederacy should be removed from the Capitol.

Details: The portraits are of Robert Hunter of Virginia (who served as speaker from 1839- 1841), Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849-1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891-1895).

What she's saying: "As I have said before, the halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy," Pelosi wrote.

  • "We cannot honor men such as James Orr, who swore on the House Floor to 'preserve and perpetuate' slavery in order to 'enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,' or Robert Hunter, who served at nearly every level of the Confederacy, including in the Confederate Provincial Congress, as Confederate Secretary of State, in the Confederate Senate and in the Confederate Army."

Go deeper

Pelosi says postmaster general won't commit to reversing USPS changes

Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called out Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Wednesday, saying his alleged suspension of operational changes and cost-cutting "is wholly insufficient and does not reverse damage already wreaked."

The big picture: Pelosi said that a conversation with DeJoy revealed the USPS has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, mailboxes and other mail infrastructure that has already been removed. On Tuesday, DeJoy promised to halt changes until after the 2020 election, a move Pelosi criticized as "misleading."

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

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