Shortly after President Donald Trump retweeted a video on Sunday of one of his supporters proudly chanting the racist slogan “white power,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) called on the president to take down the “indefensible” tweet. Shortly thereafter, the president did so.
During an early morning tweetstorm, the president shared a video of seniors at The Villages, a Florida retirement community, engaging in protest. The clip featured some residents chanting “Fuck Trump” while holding up signs accusing the president of racism. Other residents, meanwhile, drove through in golf carts emblazoned with pro-Trump messages, including one man who repeatedly shouted “white power.”
“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump approvingly said of the clip. “The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!”
Interviewing Scott on CNN’s State of the Union, anchor Jake Tapper aired the “white power” clip before asking the Republican lawmaker to react to the president tweeting it out to his 80 million-plus Twitter followers.
“Well, there is no question he should not have retweeted it and he should just take it down,” Scott plainly stated.
Tapper, meanwhile, wondered aloud if the ugly chant offended the Black senator, adding that “it offends me and I’m white.”
Scott noted that the entire video “was offensive” as it’s so “profanity-laced” that CNN couldn’t air it in its entirety. At the same time, he was unequivocal that the president should pull it from his timeline.
“There is no question, we can play politics with it or we can’t,” the South Carolina lawmaker said. “I’m not going to. It is indefensible. He should take it down. That’s what I think.”
While Scott was willing to criticize the president for approvingly sharing a clip of one of his supporters proudly chanting a racist catchphrase, other Republicans attempted to deflect and dodge on Sunday morning.
Moments earlier, in another CNN interview, Tapper brought up the president’s tweet to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, playing the clip at the top of their conversation.
“I’m stunned that the president retweeted this video in which one of his apparent supporters shouts ‘white power.’ I assume that that’s not a message you stand by,” Tapper told Azar.
“I’ve not seen that video or that tweet, but obviously neither the president, his administration, nor I would do anything to be supportive of white supremacy or anything that would support discrimination of any kind,” the HHS chief replied, perhaps forgetting Trump’s previous support for the “very fine people” in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
Tapper went on to press Azar on whether he felt it “was a mistake” for Trump to share the clip, prompting the Trump official to say he couldn’t comment on it–by claiming he hadn’t seen the video.
“Alright, well, we just played it for you, but I’ll move on,” Tapper responded.
By late morning, meanwhile, following a torrent of outrage over the president sharing the inflammatory clip, Trump apparently heeded Scott’s advice and took down the tweet.