June 28, 2020, 10:42 AM EDT / Updated June 28, 2020, 11:28 AM EDT
By Allan Smith
President Donald Trump promoted a video on Twitter 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!!!”
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 supportive of or promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Trump has also been accused of appearing sympathetic to white supremacists. In 2017, Trump famously said that there were “very fine people” among a group of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted that Trump “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 of Trump’s promotion “there’s no question he should not have retweeted it.”
“He should just take it down,” Scott said, adding he thinks the video is “indefensible.”
Thanks “We should take it down,” he said. “That’s what I think.”
Elsewhere on “State of the Union” on Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said “obviously neither the president, his administration nor I would do anything to be supportive of white supremacy or anything” or the like.
“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 air. “But obviously the president and I and his whole administration would stand against any acts of white supremacy.”
In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill 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.”
Responding to the retweet 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 members 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 statues down, some of which are not of Confederates.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that a vote for him will be a vote to protect “our Heritage, History and LAW & ORDER!”