The President of the United States, Donald Trump, retweeted a video showing one of his supporters shouting “white power” aloud.
The supporter was among a group of people participating in a pro-Trump rally at a retirement complex in Florida.
The images showed supporters and opponents of the President throwing abuse at each other and cursing each other.
Trump has denied the allegations that he seeks to capitalize on racial tensions. His spokesman says he did not hear the “white power” comment.
- Twitter hides a tweet from Trump for ‘glorifying violence’
In the tweet, which was later removed, the president thanked “the great folks at The Villages,” referring to the retirement community in northwest Orlando, where the rally took place. “The radical left does nothing Democrats will fall in the fall. Corrupt Joe is killed. See you soon!” He wrote.
The video included in the tweet showed a Trump follower in a golf cart raising a clenched fist and shouting “white power.” He appeared to be responding to a protester who called him a racist and used profanity. Other anti-Trump protesters shouted “Nazis” and other accusations at protesters.
Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the United States Senate, said in an interview with CNN on Sunday that the video was “offensive” and asked the President to delete his tweet.
“There is no question that I shouldn’t have retweeted it and should just delete it,” Scott told the network.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president “did not hear the only statement made in the video,” but saw “tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told CNN that “neither the president, his administration, nor I would do anything to support white supremacy.”
President Trump has previously faced accusations of sharing or promoting racist content. In 2017 he retweeted three inflammatory videos from a far-right British group, prompting a reprimand from then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
He was widely criticized in 2019 when he tweeted that four US congressmen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar – should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places they came from.” Three of the four congressmen were born in the United States and all four are US citizens.
In response to protests in recent weeks over the death of George Floyd, Trump warned on Twitter that “when the looting begins, the shooting begins,” a phrase used by Miami Police Chief Walter Headley at the height of the civil rights movement in 1967..
The line prompted Twitter to restrict the president’s tweet on the grounds that he broke the platform’s rules to glorify violence.
And Trump has faced accusations of racism in recent weeks for repeatedly using the phrase “kung flu” to describe the coronavirus. The White House has denied that the president’s use of the term is racist.
“What the president is doing is pointing out that the origin of the virus is China,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Meanwhile, a poll for CBS News suggests that the majority of the American public agrees with the Black Lives Matter movement and believes the protests will lead to police reforms.
Six out of 10 Americans disapprove of President Trump’s handling of recent protests, according to the survey, while more than half say he has not shown sufficient understanding of the protesters’ concerns.