A White House spokesman said the president did not listen to the statement.
5 min read
President Donald Trump retweeted a video Sunday morning of a Trump supporter yelling “white power” at anti-Trump protesters. The video retweet was later removed.
Trump shared the video on his account @realDonaldTrump, which has more than 82 million followers, with the message “Thank you to the great people at The Villages.” The tweet was removed about three hours after an uproar over the phrase “white power,” a racist slogan used by white supremacists.
In a statement, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said Trump did not listen to the use of the slogan.
“President Trump is a great admirer of The Villages. He did not hear the only statement made in the video,” Deere said. “What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”
About 10 seconds after the two-minute video, an unidentified man driving a golf cart dressed in “Trump 2020” and “America First” signs shouts of “white power” and raises his fist. The person who posted the video on Saturday claims it took place at The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida. It appears that the video was taken on June 14.
Trump plans to go to Florida in August to deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination in Jacksonville.
In CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott said Trump’s retweet was “indefensible.”
“There’s no question, I shouldn’t have retweeted it,” said Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate. “Certainly, the comment about white power was offensive.”
Sherrilyn Ifill, president and chief adviser of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, reacted on Twitter to CBS’s Face the Nation tweet Sunday.
“It’s not really about the president taking him down,” said the civil rights lawyer. “It’s about the president’s judgment in presenting it. It’s about what the president believes. And it’s time for this country to really face that.”
In the past few weeks, Twitter has started marking several of Trump’s tweets with warning labels.
In late May, the social media platform posted a “public interest” notice for the first time in a Trump tweet, in response to the controversial “when the looting begins, the shooting begins.” He did it again last week because of Trump’s tweet threatening “serious force” against protesters outside the White House.
The platform uses the “public interest” notice when “it may be in the public interest to allow people to view Tweets that would otherwise be removed,” says Twitter. Both tweets were singled out for appearing to glorify violence.
In mid-June, the platform posted a video that Trump tweeted as “manipulated media.” And in late May, Twitter added fact-checking to two of Trump’s tweets about voting by mail for the first time. It also marked the first time Trump faced Twitter sanctions on his account.
After verifying the facts, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company “will continue to report incorrect or disputed information about the global elections.”
“In accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy, yesterday’s tweets can mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots). We are updating the link in the @ readDonaldTrump tweet to clarify it further, “Dorsey said.
ABC News’ Elizabeth K. Thomas and Jesse Covertino contributed to this report.