Trump Deletes Video of Man Shouting 'White Power' as White House Claims He 'Did Not Hear' Slur
In the since-deleted message, President Donald Trump thanked his supporters, calling them "great people"
President Donald Trump shared on Twitter Sunday a video in which a supporter of his could clearly be heard yelling "white power." The video was then deleted.
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In response, the man in the golf cart yelled out the words “white power,” while raising his fist in the air. In the tweet, Trump called his supporters "great people."
"Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!" he wrote in the since-deleted tweet, which was deleted after about 90 minutes, according to the Washington Post.
White House spokesman Judd Deere claimed the president did not hear the inflammatory remark in the video.
"President Trump is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters,” Deere said.
Brushing off the statement, Democratic party chairman Tom Perez said, “this president tried to claim ignorance, but the consistency of his actions – on Charlottesville and most recently Lafayette Square – drown out his vacuous words.“
Perez’s statement highlights Trump’s response to a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he said there were “very fine people on both sides,” as well as his controversial photo-op earlier this month outside a church near the White House, which came after authorities forcibly dispersed crowds protesting against systemic racism and police brutality.
Among those who spoke out against Trump for sharing the video was South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who is the only black Republican in the Senate.
“There’s no question: He should not have retweeted it. He should just take it down,” Scott said on Sunday’s episode of CNN’s State of the Union.
“The entire thing was offensive,” he added. “There’s no question. We could play politics with it, or we can’t – I’m not going to. I think it’s indefensible and he should take it down.”
On the same program, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that Trump would never “do anything to be supportive of white supremacy.”
"I've not seen that video or that tweet, but obviously neither the President, his administration nor I would do anything to be supportive of white supremacy or anything that would support discrimination of any kind," Azar said, adding that the entire administration stands “against any acts of white supremacy.”
In a separate interview, former National Security Advisor John Bolton — who has been one of the president's most prominent critics ahead of the November election — said it was possible that Trump had only retweeted the message because he saw a campaign sign in the video, although it was “legitimate” to draw other conclusions.
"It may be that you can draw a conclusion that he heard it, and it was racist, and he tweeted it to promote the message. It is a legitimate conclusion to draw. It is also entirely legitimate to say he just had no idea what else was in the video other than the Trump sign," he said, according to CNN.
The backlash over the video comes as Trump's disapproval hit a high this week, according to a new poll from NPR, PBS Newshour and Marist. The poll shows that his approval at 40 percent overall and a 58 percent disapproval rating — and that 49 percent of voters "strongly disapprove" of "the job Trump is doing."
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The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application.coronavirus pandemic, as the majority of states are now reporting increases in cases, Trump has also been accused of worsening racial tensions in America.
In a poll conducted earlier this month by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist, two-thirds of Americans said they believed that the president had increased racial tensions.