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President Trump defended his opposition to removing Confederate symbols in an interview with "Fox News Sunday," telling host Chris Wallace that the flag does not offend him and that for many people it "represents the South."

Why it matters: Trump has attacked organizations like NASCAR that have banned the Confederate flag, claiming it's an infringement on freedom of speech. He has also threatened to veto a defense bill that would rename military installations named for Confederate leaders, despite bipartisan support in Congress.

What he's saying: "When people proudly hang their Confederate flags, they're not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South," Trump said.

  • "I'm not offended either by Black Lives Matter, that's freedom of speech. You know the whole thing with cancel culture — we can't cancel our whole history. We can't forget that the North and the South fought."

Pressed on the issue of military bases, Trump again said he would consider vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act and dismissed the fact that military leaders support renaming them.

  • "I don't care what the military says. I'm supposed to make the decision," he said. "Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two world wars — nobody even knows General Bragg. We won two world wars."
  • "What are we going to rename it? You going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton? What are you going to name it, Chris?"

Go deeper: Pentagon effectively bans Confederate flag from military installations

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Sep 14, 2020 - World

America's role in the world undecided heading into election

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto, and Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In 50 days, America will either double down on the disruptive force of America First or elect a man vowing to put the international order back together again.

Why it matters: America still has the world's biggest economy, most powerful military and deepest network of alliances. But it is unclear what it intends to do with them.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Leon Black says he "made a terrible mistake" doing business with Jeffrey Epstein

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.

Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.