“The country is having a reckoning and Woodrow Wilson, and his legacy is being swept up in that, as it should be,” Murphy said Monday during a press conference.
Murphy came under fire for using the historic furniture after he tweeted a photo of himself paying tribute to George Floyd from behind the desk engraved with Wilson’s name.
Wilson, who served as New Jersey’s governor before becoming president in 1913, supported segregation and pushed for several federal agencies to become racially divided while he was in the White House.
Murphy initially said he hadn’t considered the matter and the desk has traditionally been used by other governors.
“As soon as I could get a replacement, which was not as easy as I thought, I got one and I think that was the right thing to do,” Murphy said, according to CNN.
Murphy’s decision to swap out the desk comes after Princeton University announced it would remove Wilson’s name from its public policy school, noting his racism was “significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time.”