The Chatter: Rand Paul campaign returning donations from white supremacist Charleston shooting influencer; S.C. Gov. Haley to call for removal of Confederate flag

06/22/2015 04:15 PM

A white supremacist leader who apparently influenced suspected Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylann Roof made multiple donations to 2016 Republican presidential candidates including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Earl Holt III donated at least $2,250 to the campaign of Paul as well as thousands more to the presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum, according to The Guardian.

Paul’s campaign told the New York Times that they planned on donating the money they’ve identified as coming from Holt to a victims’ fund.

“RandPAC is donating the funds to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to assist the victims families,” Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul’s campaign, told the Times.

According to the report, Holt made at least four donations to Paul’s campaign.

Holt is the head of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which operates a website where Roof is suspected of penning an online manifesto. The FBI is investigating the site, according to the Guardian.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is calling on the Confederate flag to be removed from the state Capitol

Multiple media outlets including NBC are reporting that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds Monday afternoon.

The move comes less than a week since nine people were assassinated inside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., during Bible study which investigators are calling a hate crime.

A white supremacist website shows multiple images of Roof, including photos of the confessed gunman burning the American flag and displaying the Confederate flag.

President Obama says US “not cured” of racism in podcast

Citing the legacy of slavery, President Obama said the United States is not cured of racism.

“The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on,” Obama said on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast released Monday.

“We’re not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. … Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened two to 300 years prior.”

Obama again remarked that the country should change gun laws, calling them “common-sense gun safety laws that, by the way, the majority of gun owners support,” according to the New York Times.

Still, he conceded that the chances of any significant changes are grim.

“And unfortunately, the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong. I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress and I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change, and we’re going to change it.’ And if you don’t have that kind of public and voter pressure, then it’s not going to change from the inside,” said Obama, according to Politico.


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