Trump tweets and then deletes video of a follower praising 'white power'
US President Donald Trump shared on Sunday a video of a confrontation between opposition protesters and supporters of his government in which a man praises "white power", before eliminating it after the protests it sparked.
"Thanks to the great people at The Villages," Trump tweeted about the filming. "The radical left does nothing. Democrats will fall."
The filming, apparently made in the retirement community The Villages, in Florida, shows a man driving a golf cart with the signs "Trump 2020" and "America First" repeatedly shouting "white power" and to which a protester he rebukes by treating him as "racist".
Trump tweeted the video shortly after 7:30 a.m. But at 11 in the morning it was no longer visible on his Twitter account and the White House issued a statement saying that the president did not hear the allusions to "white power".
"The president is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the only statement made on the video," said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
"What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many followers."
Trump has been repeatedly accused of stoking racial tensions, even amid protests across the country following the death of African-American George Floyd by a white cop just a month ago.
As early as June 2017, referring to the clashes between neo-Nazis and anti-racists in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, the president had declared that there were "very good people on both sides."
Today the president shared a video of people screaming 'white power' and said they were 'cool.' Just like he did after Charlottesville, "Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted a few hours later. We are in a battle for the soul of the nation, and the president has chosen a side. But make no mistake: it is a battle that we will win.
For its part, the Democratic National Committee affirmed that the country needs a president to heal the wounds of (the) nation and unite the American people, not a demagogue who tries to divide through fear and intolerance.
The Villages video sparked an immediate backlash on social media, and Trump's allies were pressured to refer to him on Sunday morning talk shows.
The only black senator from the Republican Party, Tim Scott, interviewed on CNN's State of the Union program, called the video offensive.
I think it is indefensible. We should remove it. That is what I think, he said.
Also on CNN, Trump's health secretary Alex Azar said he had not seen the images or Trump's tweet.
But obviously the president, his administration, or myself would never support white supremacy or discrimination of any kind, he said.