Donald Trump retweets clip of supporter yelling ‘white power’ as he thanks ‘great people’ of Florida Villages
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Donald Trump has sparked his latest social media furore by retweeting a video of one of his supporters yelling “white power”.
A member of his own party, Republican Senator Tim Scott, condemned the “profanity laced” message and called for its removal from Twitter.
“White power” is a racist slogan associated with white supremacists.
The US president later deleted the tweet and the White House insisted he hadn’t heard the offensive statement in the video.
The video appeared to have been taken at The Villages, a Florida retirement community, and showed clashes between Trump supporters and counter protesters.
“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Mr Trump wrote in a caption alongside the retweeted clip.
Moments into the video, a man driving a golf cart displaying pro-Trump signs and flags shouts “white power”.
A man clenches his fist as he yells ‘white power’ from his golf buggy (@davenewworld_2/Twitter)
Mr Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, responded to the incident by saying there was “no question” the president shouldn’t have retweeted the clip.
“It was so profanity laced, the entire thing was offensive,” he told CNN.
“Certainly, the comment about the white power was offensive. It’s indefensible. We should take it down.”
Shortly afterwards, Mr Trump deleted the retweet.
White House spokesman Judd Deere defended Mr Trump’s actions saying: “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.”
The president’s decision to endorse a video featuring a racist slogan comes amid widespread anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
Millions of Americans have taken to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and systemic injustices and to call for the removal of Confederate monuments – an effort Mr Trump has opposed.
Mr Trump’s tenure in office is often accused 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”.
Black Lives Matter