After 'white power' video fiasco, Trump arrives at a familiar point

Trump either didn't check out the video at all before promoting it, or he deliberately shared the offensive content.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House, on June 25, 2020.Alex Brandon / AP

In late May, Donald Trump promoted a video on Twitter in which a presidential supporter said, "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat." We were, evidently, supposed to believe Trump hadn't watched the clip before sharing it with his 82 million followers.

A week later, Mercedes Schlapp, a top member of the president's political operation, also used social media to promote a video featuring a man yelling racist language and wielding a chainsaw in response to protestors supporting social justice. She later apologized, claiming she hadn't watched "the full video."

The moral of the story seemed pretty obvious: before promoting videos online, officials should probably watch them to see what message they're endorsing. It's a lesson the president apparently refuses to learn.

President Donald Trump promoted a video on Twitter on Sunday morning showing a man in a golf cart with Trump campaign gear shouting "white power." The video, which Trump said was from the Florida retirement community known as The Villages, featured a parade of golf carts, some with pro-Trump signs, driving past anti-Trump protesters who were shouting curses at them. The man who is heard shouting "white power" was responding to protesters shouting "racist."

In the face of widespread condemnations, the president eventually removed the tweet from his feed -- but not before the public had seen Trump thanking "the great people" in the Florida retirement community, one of whom was yelling, "White power" in the clip.

For context, it's worth noting that the racist language wasn't hidden deep within a long video. On the contrary, the language was hard to miss: it was audible roughly 10 seconds into the clip.

As a result, Trump either didn't check out the video at all before promoting it, or he deliberately shared the offensive content.

Asked about this yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNN's Jake Tapper, "Well, I have 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."

But therein lies the point: I wish it were "obvious." If it were obvious the story would be far less depressing.

What's actually obvious is that Donald Trump has a long history of racism. Yesterday's incident comes nearly three years after the president said a group of white nationalists in Charlottesville included "very fine people."