United States President Donald Trump tweeted and then deleted a video in which his supporters could be heard repeating a “white power ” slogan , in the latest instance in which the president was accused of inflaming racial tensions.
The phrase is often used by far – right white nationalists and prompted a backlash from within the president ’s own Republican Party.
The tweet came as the country is going through an intense national conversation about race and discrimination , in the wake of police violence and the death of George Floyd .
There have been protests around the country for weeks under the Black Lives Matter banner .
The video shows Trump supporters shouting the slogans .
Trump attached a comment saying : “Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” referring to a retirement community in Florida where the scene was filmed.
Senator Tim Scott , the only black Republican member of the Senate , was quick to denounce the president.
“He should not have retweeted it and he should just take it down.
“The entire thing was offensive,” Scott said on CNN .
The White House later explained the deletion of the tweet, which had been up for nearly four hours , saying the president was unaware of the audio content .
“President Trump is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video .
” What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters, ” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a brief statement .
The president has been accused of worsening racial tensions in the country over the course of his time in the White House , while failing to promote a reconciliation programme .
In recent weeks he pushed for a tough crackdown against the sometimes violent protests against injustice and police brutality .