US President Donald Trump retweeted a video showing one of his supporters in Florida shouting “white power” at protesters of his administration, drawing an immediate rebuke from the only Black Republican in the Senate.
The video on Twitter, which was later deleted from Trump’s feed, shows Trump protesters and supporters shouting profanities at each other. After a protester calls a Trump supporter a racist, the man responds by raising his fist and shouting “white power.”
The slogan is often used by white supremacists.
“There’s no question that he should not have retweeted it and he should just take it down,” US Senator Tim Scott told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president “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 tweet comes on the heels of Trump’s hostile response to protests against racial injustice engulfing the United States following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis.
In the tweet, Trump wrote “Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” a retirement community in Florida he visited last year.
“It was so profanity laced, the entire thing was offensive. Certainly, the comment about the white power was offensive,” the South Carolina Republican added. “It’s indefensible. We should take it down.”
Trump has been accused of racism by lawmakers for his tweets in the past, including for attacks on Black lawmakers and for telling four congresswomen of color that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”