Once again the President of the United States, the ostensible Leader of the Free World, is engaging in shameful race-baiting in a pathetic attempt to boost his flagging poll numbers.
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This morning, Trump took to Twitter to slam Bubba Wallace, the only Black NASCAR driver, and implied that Wallace owes an apology to the “great NASCAR drivers &. officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him.” The president seemed to accuse Wallace of actively planning and carrying out a “HOAX.”
The tweet was a reference to a recent news saga that erupted after what appeared to be a noose in was found in Wallace’s NASCAR garage not long after he spearheaded the campaign to ban the Confederate flag from NASCAR. Understandably, he and others were concerned that the apparent noose was a racially motivated intimidation attempt or even a threat against his life. There was an outpouring of support for Wallace from fans and fellow drivers.
The FBI investigated the incident and concluded that it was not a hate crime, but rather that a garage door pull rope had been tied in a way that resembled a noose by someone as early as last fall before Wallace was using the garage and as such was not aimed at him. Wallace weathered backlash after the FBI released its findings even though he wasn’t the one to find or report the apparent noose in the first place.
“I’m pissed. I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity,” Wallace said previously.
Knowing all of this, Trump’s tweet can only be interpreted as his going after yet another Black athlete in an effort to whip the racists in his base into a frenzy. The noose wasn’t a hoax, it was a misunderstanding and Wallace doesn’t owe anyone an apology because he neither found the rope nor reported it. As is so often the case, there is absolutely no excuse for the president’s behavior.
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Trump’s Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, a woman infamous for her ability to lie for the president and defend even his most egregious rhetoric, was asked about Trump’s tweet on Fox News today. Specifically, she was asked if his use of the word “hoax” was “helpful” since the incident was never determined to be a hoax.
“So NASCAR I would note, their statement says that this garage pull rope was there since last fall since far before the teams arrived at these garages. They also said—as the FBI investigation determined—that there was no hate crime versus Bubba committed,” said McEnany.
“What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts before the facts are out is not acceptable. And we saw it with the Covington kids and we saw it with Jussie Smollett and now we saw it in this case before the FBI came to that conclusion,” she added.
The host pushed back and said the comparison was unfair because Trump is calling the Wallace case a hoax and seems to truly believe that’s what it was.
“Right well the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not stand by that assessment. The president’s merely pointing out that we’ve got to let facts come out before we rush to judgments and there was no hate crime committed against Bubba Wallace as determined by the FBI as noted in a NASCAR statement,” replied McEnany, ignoring the thrust of the host’s question. Her refusal to directly grapple with Trump’s use of the word “hoax” shows that there’s no real way to defend his rhetoric. Instead, she’s forced to dissemble and misdirect.
What’s more, the idea that Donald Trump, a man who regularly spreads conspiracy theories and lies every time he opens his mouth, is concerned with getting the “facts” and resisting the urge to rush to judgment is laughable. The truth is these people have no interest in the truth and care only about securing the president’s reelection.
SANDRA SMITH: The Bubba Wallace incident was never determined to be a "hoax." Is it helpful for the president to say that?
KAYLEIGH McENANY: "There was no hate crime committed against Bubba Wallace."
(That does not mean his claim about a noose in his garage was a "hoax.") pic.twitter.com/W5jo5qprEW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 6, 2020
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