Appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday, Nikki Haley told host George Stephanopoulos that she had a “private” conversation with President Trump following the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va. “I picked up the phone and I had a private conversation with the president about Charlottesville, and it was taken very well,” she said.
Pundits have been eager to hear Haley’s remarks on the white supremacy rally and the president’s handling of it, as the UN ambassador has taken a strong stance against racially-motivated violence in the past. As the governor of South Carolina (a post she held prior to her role at the UN), she made the controversial decision to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse after the 2015 Charleston church shooting, during which a white gunman killed nine African-American churchgoers. The killer, Dylann Roof, subscribed to a white supremacist ideology.
“Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill-will to say it is time to remove the flag from our capitol grounds,” Haley said at the time. “What I realize now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain.”
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Stephanopoulos also asked Haley about President Trump’s remarks following Charlottesville, during which he said “both sides” (left- and right-wing extremists) were responsible for the violence. Some criticized the president not condemning white supremacists and neo-nazis more forcefully, but Haley said she believed he “clarified” those remarks in his Monday evening speech about Afghanistan.
“When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. And when one citizen suffers an injustice we all suffer together,” he said in the speech, a large chunk of which was seen as placating those who were offended by his “both sides” remarks. “Love for America requires love for all of its people,” said the president.