White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday that President Donald Trump shared a video of a man shouting “white power” because he wanted to stand with his “demonized” supporters. McEnany appeared on Fox & Friends, according to Brett Samuels of The Hill, in order to offer up a defense for why the president retweeted the video and then took it down hours later. She also said that when he first shared the video, he didn’t hear the man’s comments but took it down after he was told what the tweet contained.
“He made very clear to me that he stands with the people of The Villages, our great seniors, men and women in the Villages who support this president,” McEnany continued.
“He stands for them and his point in tweeting out that video was to stand with his supporters who are oftentimes demonized.”
The video in question showed a man and a woman driving through an area identified as The Villages, which is a section of Florida that the Trump campaign has previously pointed to as a stronghold of support. However, the video showed the couple being yelled at by anti-Trump supporters, calling them racists. The man driving the golf cart then yelled back, “white power” and drove away. A voice off-camera could be heard saying “you see that? White power.” The exchange takes place within the first 10 seconds of the video, according to Samuels.
The tweet, which the Washington Examiner reported included the caption “thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!” stayed up for several hours.
Samuel said the post generated intense backlash, with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Bidden pointing out that the language Trump used in regard to the man was similar to the language he used when describing protesters in Charlottesville. Biden was referring to protests over the taking down of statues depicting Confederate generals. Those protests included clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in 2017.
McEnany’s comments about Trump not hearing the white power comments echoed those made on Sunday by White House spokesperson Judd Deere shortly after the post was taken down. Deere also said Trump didn’t hear the comments at the beginning of the video but he did notice “tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”
As Samuel pointed out, neither Trump nor any other White House official has condemned the comments made by the man in the video.