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President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine people killed in last week's shootings at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, the White House said Monday.
Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will all attend funeral services Friday for Pinckney, a state senator and pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest and most influential African-American churches in the U.S. Pinckney and eight other people were shot to death last week at a Wednesday night Bible study session.
Obama will be visiting the state as it is torn over calls to remove a Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol. The flag was moved from the dome of the statehouse in 2000 to a separate part of the grounds in a compromise over racial connotations of the flag.
Gov. Nikki Haley and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott — all of them Republicans — called for the flag's complete removal on Monday.