The tweet was later removed from his feed, but critics said it fit a longstanding pattern.
President Donald Trump arrives on stage at a campaign rally at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20.Evan Vucci / AP file
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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.SUBSCRIBEJune 28, 2020, 2:42 PM UTC / Updated June 28, 2020, 3:28 PM UTCBy Allan Smith
President Donald Trump promoted a video on Twitter on Sunday morning showing a man in a golf cart with Trump campaign gear shouting “white power.”
The video, which Trump said was from the Florida retirement community known as The Villages, featured a parade of golf carts, some with pro-Trump signs, driving past anti-Trump protesters who were shouting curses at them. The man who is heard shouting “white power” was responding to protesters shouting “racist.”
The tweet was removed from his feed hours later.
“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump had written. “The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!”
Seniors from The Villages in Florida protesting against each other: pic.twitter.com/Q3GRJCTjEW
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) June 27, 2020
In a statement to reporters, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said Trump “is a big fan of The Villages” but “did not hear the one statement made on the video.”
“What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters,” Deere added.
The president has a history of problematic retweets dating back years. He promoted an account with the handle “WhiteGenocideTM” during the 2016 campaign, and in recent months he has increasingly retweeted accounts supporting or promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
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Trump has also been accused of appearing sympathetic to white supremacists. In 2017, Trump said a group of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, included “very fine people.”
Trump retweets video of supporter chanting 'white power' at protesters, deletes after backlash
June 28, 202002:42
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted that Trump had “shared a video of people shouting ‘white power’ and said they were ‘great.’ Just like he did after Charlottesville.”
“We’re in a battle for the soul of the nation — and the president has picked a side,” Biden added. “But make no mistake: it’s a battle we will win.”
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said “there’s no question he should not have retweeted it.”
“He should just take it down,” Scott said, adding that he thinks the video is “indefensible.”
“We should take it down,” he said. “That’s what I think.”
Also appearing Sunday on “State of the Union,” and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that “obviously, neither the president, his administration nor I would do anything to be supportive of white supremacy or anything” similar.
“I’ve not seen that, and so I don’t want to comment further on that,” Azar said after CNN’s Jake Tapper played the video on the air. “But obviously, the president and I and his whole administration would stand against any acts of white supremacy.”
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said, “This is really not about the president taking it down.
“This is about the judgment of the president in putting it up,” she added. “It is about what the president believes. And it is time for this country to really face that.”
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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said, “Once again, Donald Trump’s actions are simply indefensible.”
“As our country faces a reckoning since the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others, we are seeking ways to address systemic racism and injustice. But Trump is tweeting a video promoting ‘white power,'” Perez said, adding, “This president tries to claim ignorance, but the consistency of his actions — on Charlottesville and most recently Lafayette Square — drown out his vacuous words.”
In recent weeks, Trump has remained steadfast in his opposition to renaming military bases and removing statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy even as members of his own party express openness to doing so. Trump has instead promoted harsh penalties for protesters who tear down statues, some of which are not of Confederates.
Trump tweeted Saturday that a vote for him would be a vote to protect “our Heritage, History and LAW & ORDER!”