The Fight Endures Forever
This meeting took place several months before the monument was removed, but it reveals the shadow boxing between the two camps. Riley and Butts differ a little on some of the details, but the meeting seemed to revolve around how far Riley was willing to go in order to back Moore's play. Riley says that the Moore side wanted the governor's office to use the Alabama National Guard to protect the monument. Butts says that they simply wanted Riley to issue an executive order indicating that he (Riley) wouldn't allow the removal of the monument.
Either way, both men seem to acknowledge that Riley wasn't willing to risk a potential showdown with the White House. It really is a fascinating look at the inner workings of both the Riley and Moore camps in the months leading to the final confrontation. I recommend you read the entire article.
I am curious why Riley is willing to be so public and candid with the dynamics of his decision making process. By participating in this story Riley is able to get his side of the monument battle out without having to directly engage Moore. Indeed, in this article Riley signals what his likely response to the issue will be:
We'll see if Moore and his allies let this story fly under the radar or if they choose to engage the governor and fight the 10 Commandments battle all over again.
"We supported Roy all the way down the line, writing briefs and making public statements," Riley said, "but that[a federal showdown] was just something I was not willing to do."