On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the names of Confederate leaders have to be removed from military bases, and their statues taken out of the Capitol.
"These names have to go from these bases and these statues have to go from the Capitol," she told reporters during her weekly press conference.
"The American people know these names have to go. These names are white supremacists that said terrible things about our country. Some of these names were given to these bases. You listen to who they are and what they said and then you have the president make a case as to why a base should be named for them. He seems to be the only person left who doesn't get it,” she said.
However, President Trump stated that he would not sanction the removal of Confederate monument and statues, and even went as far as to maintain that he wouldn’t “even consider” changing the names of military bases which honor Confederate leaders.
Pelosi wrote a letter to the Joint Committee on the Library, asking that Confederate statues be removed from the Capitol because they are a "grotesque affront" to American ideals and "pay homage to hate, not heritage."
In 2017, Pelosi pushed for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol after the Charlottesville incidents, and asked then-Speaker Paul Ryan to join Democrats in demanding for their immediate removal. However, she was unsuccessful.
On Thursday, she stated that "public sentiment is everything" and "the timing might be just right" to remove the statues as the country confronts systemic racism.
Speaking about Jefferson Davis and Alexander, the president and vice president of the Confederate states, Pelosi stated: "They committed treason against the United States."
She stated that when she first became the House Speaker, she "did do what I had the authority to do, which was relegate Robert E. Lee to the crypt," referring to the circular area on the Capitol’s first floor which has 40 exposed columns supporting the Capitol Rotunda above. Lee was the general of the Confederate army during the Civil War.
She stated that a number of House Democrats have proposed legislation that would see 11 Confederate statues removed from the Capitol. She added that legislation or committee action would be required to remove the statues.
"Believe me, if I had more authority, you'd have fewer of these statues around," she said.
When asked whether she has the authority to move the statues of Davis and Stevens from Statuary Hall to other darker corners of the Capitol, she said, "We’ll see. You start with a feather...let’s see how we can have consensus on it."