Donald Trump tweets, then deletes video of supporter shouting 'white power'
29 June 2020, 10:25
Donald Trump tweeted and then deleted a post containing a video of one of his supporters shouting a “white power" chant after facing a barrage of criticism on social media.
The footage was taken at a demonstration in Florida.
"White Power" is a racist slogan associated with white supremacists and a White House spokesman said the president had "not heard" the statement on then video.
The video appeared to have been taken at The Villages, a Florida retirement community, and showed rival demonstrations between Trump supporters and opponents.
"Thank you to the great people of The Villages," Mr Trump tweeted.
Moments into the video clip he shared, a man driving a golf cart displaying pro-Trump signs and flags shouts "white power".
The video also shows anti-Trump protesters shouting "Nazi", "racist", and profanities at the Trump supporters.
"There's no question" that Mr Trump should not have retweeted the video and "he should just take it down" Senator Tim Scott told CNN's State Of The Union. Mr Scott is the only black Republican in the Senate.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Trump deleted the tweet that shared the video.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that "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."
South Carolina senator Tim Scott, who is the sole African American Republican in the Senate, said: “There’s no question that he should not have retweeted it and he should just take it down.”
“It was so profanity laced, the entire thing was offensive. Certainly, the comment about the white power was offensive. It’s indefensible. We should take it down.”
The president's decision to highlight a video featuring a racist slogan comes amid a national reckoning over race following the deaths of George Floyd and other black Americans.
Mr Floyd, from Minneapolis, died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.
Protests against police brutality and bias in law enforcement have occurred across the country following Mr Floyd's death and there has also been a push to remove Confederate monuments, an effort Mr Trump has opposed.
Mr Trump's tenure in office has appeared to have emboldened white supremacist and nationalist groups, some of whom have embraced his presidency.
In 2017, Mr Trump responded to clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white nationalists and counter-protesters by saying there were "very fine people on both sides".