John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser who has just published a scathing book about Trump, said Sunday that the president’s lack of attention to detail made it possible for him not to notice the racist comments.
“He doesn’t pay attention to a lot of things,” Bolton said of “State of the Union.” “It is very possible that he tweeted this video because he saw the sign, I think it was in the first kart that said Trump 2020 or something like that.” That is all I needed to see. Not paying attention. Without considering all the implications of the information you get. “
But Mr. Bolton added: “It may be possible to conclude that he heard it, and that he was racist, and tweeted it to promote the message, and it is a legitimate conclusion.”
Either way, the president’s initial decision to approvely share the blatant support for white supremacy was the latest example of his willingness to use his large following on Twitter to inject incendiary comments into the country’s ongoing debate over the systemic racism.
In May, when protests erupted after the murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer, Trump tweeted: “When the looting begins, the shooting begins,” a phrase with a long history of connection to the racism.
More recently, Trump used his Twitter feed to attack protesters who downed statues of Confederate generals, calling them “arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators.” On Saturday night, he tweeted 15 “wanted” signs for people the US park police were looking for in connection with the vandalism in Lafayette Square, just outside the White House.
The video on Sunday, which The New York Times was unable to independently verify, appeared to show a slow parade through the Florida community with supporters of Mr. Trump riding golf carts, dressed in red, white, and blue, and showing Trump Materials.