“When people proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism,” Trump said Sunday during a Fox News interview. “They love their flag. It represents the South. They like the South. … I’d say it’s freedom of, of — of many things, but it’s freedom of speech.”

That Trump is choosing to emphasize the display of the Confederate battle flag and statues amid the civil unrest over race shows there is still disagreement on the causes of racism and what qualifies as racism, even as a consensus grows on the existence of it in society, as new Washington Post-ABC News and NBC News-Wall Street Journal polling shows…

As a candidate in 2015, Trump called for the Confederate flag to be taken down from outside the South Carolina State House one day after then-Gov. Nikki Haley (R) called for removing it.

“I think it probably does, and I think they should put it in the museum,” Trump said six days after a white supremacist killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C. “Let it go. Respect whatever it is that you have to respect because it was a point in time, and put it in a museum. But I would take it down, yes.”