On Sunday, Donald Trump retweeted a post made by a known white supremacist that falsely blamed a subway attack in New York City on the Black Lives Matter Movement and Antifa. Trump’s post created a tsunami of backlash.
This is not the first time that Trump had shared the video of the random subway attack. A 28-year-old suspect and well-known “transit nuisance” was arrested back in 2019 after he was seen pushing a woman head-first into a parked subway car.
Trump first retweeted the video in June at that time he retweeted it from an account well-known for spreading xenophobic and anti-immigrant content.
This time when Trump retweeted the video it came from an account operated by a white supremacist. The account that shared the video also shared tweets to racist content on a video platform known to be used by far-right conspiracy theorists.
The caption for the post-Trump retweeted on Sunday read, “Black Lives Matter/ Antifa.”
It appeared that Trump was attempting to use the video to push his political strategy to highlight crime in Democratic majority cities. The video had nothing to do with Black Lives Matter or Antifa or the recent protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer back in May or the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back and left paralyzed.
It took only seconds for Twitter users to blast Trump for his retweet. Many users and Democratic lawmakers accused Trump of trying to sow division amid the ongoing protests.
David Frum, political commentator and author of “Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy,” tweeted: “This retweet by the man we are ashamed to call the president of the United States is the most blatant act of racial incitement in the history of that office.”
Frum then added, “Not even Andrew Johnson went this far.”
Trump was also condemned by former government officials including Walter Shaub, the director to the Office of Government Ethics under Barack Obama. Shaub shared a tweet from The Intercept columnist Medhi Hasan that said the president “retweeted a video of a black man pushing a white woman on a subway platform” without any “context” or explanation, adding: “Pure incitement.”
“That’s because this is a full-on white supremacist presidency,” Shaub wrote, “and he’s now selling the ‘race war’ message of nazis.”
This is not the first time that Trump has shared videos of black people arming white people on his social media accounts. He shared a video where his supporters could be heard chanting “white power.” the post was deleted later in the day.