McConnell: Kentucky should consider moving Jefferson Davis statue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Kentucky should consider moving a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis currently housed in the state's Capitol.

"We curiously enough have a statue of Jefferson Davis in the Capitol in Frankfort," McConnell said. "I think it's appropriate certainly in Kentucky to be talking about the appropriateness of having Jefferson Davis' statue in our state Capitol."


The Republican leader's comments come after Kentucky GOP gubernatorial hopeful Matt Bevin backed removing Davis from the statehouse.

McConnell added that "maybe the better place for that would be the Kentucky history museum, which is also in the state Capitol."

A statue of Davis and Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens are also at the U.S. Capitol. States are allowed to submit statues of any two people to represent their state. 

Asked about statues within the U.S. Capitol, McConnell said: "I'm not aware of what we have and don't have." 

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE (D-Nev.) also weighed in, saying that "we need to make sure that states understand who they have here." 

"I think it would be important that we look at some of the statues that are here not as a result of what the states do, but what others do, and we're going to take a look at that," the Democratic leader added. 

Reid pointed to one of Nevada's statues in the Capitol, former U.S. Sen. Pat McCarran, who has been associated with McCarthyism in the 1950s.

"I think he should be put out to pasture someplace," he said.

The comments come after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, backed removing the Confederate flag from the state's Capitol grounds in the wake of a shooting at a historically black church. 

In pictures released after the shooting, alleged shooter Dylann Storm Roof can be seen posing with the Confederate flag. He reportedly told police that he wanted to start a race war.