President Trump on Sunday retweeted a video of one of his supporters yelling “White power!,” once again using the vast reach of his social media platforms to inflame racial divisions in a nation roiled by weeks of protests about police brutality against black people and demands for social justice reforms.
The edited racist video shows a white man riding in a golf cart bearing “Trump 2020” and “America First” signs during what appears to be an angry clash over the president and race between white residents of a Florida retirement community. Mr. Trump deleted the tweet more than three hours after posting it.
In response to a protester shouting “Where’s your white hood?” and other taunts, the man in the golf cart pumps his fist in the air and says “White power!” twice. The two-minute video continues to show profane exchanges between protesters and other Trump supporters riding on more golf carts.
The president retweeted the video to his millions of followers just after 7:30 a.m., thanking “the great people of The Villages,” the Florida retirement community where the clash apparently took place. He added: “The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!”…
The tweet was widely criticized as racist and insensitive, and again demonstrated the president’s willingness use social media to amplify some of the most hateful commentary of some of his followers, even at a moment of national unrest.
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican senator, called the video “offensive” and asked Mr. Trump to take it off his Twitter page.
“There is no question he should not have retweeted it, and he should just take it down,” Mr. Scott said on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “We can play politics with it or we can’t. I’m not going to. I think it’s indefensible. We should take it down.”
Mr. Trump deleted it less than an hour after Mr. Scott’s comments, but he did not condemn the “white power” statement or specifically disavow the sentiment expressed by his supporter.
Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said Mr. Trump “is a big fan of The Villages.”
“He did not hear the one statement made on the video,” Mr. Deere said. “What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”
Here’s the tweet.