US President Donald Trump retweeted a video on Sunday where one of his supporters can be heard shouting “White Power”, a racist slogan commonly used by far-right white nationalists.
A few hours later, the tweet was deleted. The tweet comes as the country is going through an intense national debate on racial issues and ethnic discrimination after the death of George Floyd, the black American asphyxiated by a white police officer during his arrest. Since then, there has been a wave of protest across the country under the Black Lives Matter banner.
The video in question shows supporters of the President and anti-Trump protesters yelling at them. We then hear a supporter of the president shouting “White Power” from a golf cart.
Trump shared the video with a comment: “Thank you to the great people at The Villages,” referring to the region in Florida where the scene was allegedly filmed.
Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican member of the Senate, was quick to criticize the president. “He shouldn’t have retweeted this video and he should take it down,” he said on CNN. “This is offensive.”
After a few hours, the post disappeared from Donald Trump’s Twitter account. The White House said the president did not hear that “such a statement” was made in the video. “What he did see was the tremendous enthusiasm of his many supporters,” said spokesman Judd Deere.
The current White House host is accused of igniting racial tensions in the country during his tenure, including in recent weeks when he called for a severe crackdown on the sometimes violent protests against injustice and police brutality.