Bubba Wallace: White House refuses to deny Confederate flag while Trump resents NASCAR ban

The White House tried to present its message in support of racing fans. But Trump’s declaration bears little resemblance to the White House’s explanations for this. And his spokesman’s refusal to express an official position on burning the Confederate flag is just an indication of Trump’s continued attempts to use racist symbols as an appeal to some white voters as he tries to revive his re-election candidacy.

Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that the president is not addressing the verdict regarding the flag in his tweet.

“He didn’t give either opinion on it,” she said. “I just talked to him this morning.”

Earlier Monday, Trump tweeted, “Did @BubbaWallace apologize to all those great NASCAR drivers and officers who came to his aid, stood by his side, and were willing to sacrifice everything for him, just to reveal that the whole thing just another HOAX? That decision & flag led to the lowest ratings! ”

Pressed during a controversial 22-minute tweet briefing, McEnany claimed Trump was expressing support for NASCAR fans.

“The president’s intention was to say no. Most Americans are good, hard-working people. And we shouldn’t rush to judge the knee reaction before the facts are established,” McEnany said, not explaining – despite repeated questions – why Trump apologized to Wallace. .

NASCAR launched an investigation last month after a crew member on the Talladega Superspeedway discovered a garage with a garage assigned to Wallace, the only league of full-time black drivers. The FBI has determined that there has been sludge in the garage since last year and Wallace is therefore not a victim of hate crime. NASCAR, citing an FBI report, described the item as “a garage door rope made as a trap.”

“It was a network,” Wallace told CNN after the investigation. “Whether it was tied in 2019 or something else, it was a network. So it’s not aimed at me, but someone tied the bandage. That’s what I’m saying.”

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In a response posted on his own Twitter on Monday, Wallace wrote a message aimed at “the next generation and the little ones who are following in my footsteps”.

“Always deal with the hatred that LOVE throws at you!” he wrote. “Love of hate every day. Love should come naturally because people REALLY hate.”

“Even when it is URGENT from POTUS,” he wrote. “Love wins.”

As the coronavirus ferment rages across the country, Trump has largely moved on, trying instead to focus on his “law and order” message through a series of incendiary speeches, tweets and statements defending racist monuments and digging in opposition to renaming a Confederate army base appointed Confederate leaders.

The “Flag Decision” in Trump’s tweet seems to link NASCAR’s decision to remove images of the Confederate flag from all races and events with lower ratings. Last month, amid protests across the country following the assassination of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, NASCAR banned the flag, a racist symbol.

NASCAR said the presence of the Confederate flag “runs counter to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”

Trump’s ally and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina withdrew to Trump’s tweet during an interview with Fox News radio on Monday.

“They’re trying to play sports,” Graham said, referring to the decision to ban flags from NASCAR events. “And I’ve lived in South Carolina my whole life and if you’re in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.”

Earlier in the day, McEnany appeared on Fox News and echoed Trump’s message, comparing the incident to a sludge and alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollett and attacks on a Covington high school student, after a viral video caught national attention that initially had no significant additional context.

“What the president is doing is a broader sign that this rush to judge the facts before the facts are established is not acceptable. And we saw it with the Covington kids and we saw it with Jussie Smollett, and now we’ve seen it in the case before The FBI came to that conclusion, “she said.

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“The president is just stressing that we need to let go of the facts before we rush into judgment,” she added.

Smollett, who is gay and black, said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack at his Chicago apartment on January 29, 2019. Chicago police investigated the case as a hate crime, but later said the actor orchestrated the incident. Smollett has repeatedly denied attacking or orchestrating the attack.

Monday’s tweet builds on Trump’s war rhetoric of cultural weekends.

Speaking at the foot of Mount Rushmore on Friday night, he opposed what his political enemies called a “ruthless campaign” to erase history by removing monuments – even though the sculptures remember parts of America’s racist past.

“As we meet here tonight, the danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for grows,” Trump said. “Our people are witnessing a relentless campaign to erase our history, deceive our heroes, erase our values ​​and indoctrinate our children.”

And on Saturday at the White House, he likened his efforts to defeat the “radical left” to the United States ’efforts to eradicate the Nazis.
He left last week after trying to remove the racists ’names from buildings, attacked a federal housing rule that fought racial segregation and called the word“ black lives ”a“ symbol of hatred ”.

Some of the president’s political advisers are concerned that Trump is simultaneously distracted from the real health and economic crises the country is facing and alienate moderate voters whose views on race have passed to expand Confederate monuments as “history”.

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But Trump insisted the issue was a winning one for him and refused to change direction.

Graham also told Fox News that he would encourage Trump to distinguish between protesters and violent robberies, saying “there are voices in the country pushing racial justice.”

CNN’s Steve Almasy, Manu Raju, Haley Byrd and Ali Main contributed to this report.

This story has been updated to reflect additional comments on Trump’s tweet.

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