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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

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 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.