President Donald Trump retweeted video of a resident of The Villages shouting “White Power!” at protestors. He appeared to praise the man and others waving Trump signs from golf carts.
“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!”
He retweeted a video posted by a progressive account Fifty Shades of Whey (@daveneworld_2) filmed from within a group of anti-Trump protestors. The video begins with a driver of a golf cart with a Trump 2020 sign in the front and Trump flags flying from the back, shaking his fist at protestors and shouting “White Power!” multiple times. A roadside protestor repeats the phrase, saying “white power, there you go.”
Later in the video, a protestor shouts at another driver “Nazi racist pig.” The driver responds “We resemble that remark and we love it.”
The video also shows the anti-Trump protestors shouting expletives at those passing by and antagonizing Trump supporters.
It’s unclear how the original tweet came to Trump’s attention but within a couple hours, he deleted the tweet. The original video is still viewable.
The driver led a parade of Trump supporters through one of several commercial areas in The Villages.
The retweet of the video drew wide criticism.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo issued the statement: ““Donald Trump is now thanking white supremacists for supporting him. Let that sink in. Every single Floridian needs to join our effort to defeat him. Without Florida, he can’t win and we simply cannot allow him a second term in the White House.”
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a Republican and one of the only black members of the Senate, told CNN posting the video was “indefensible” and the entire video was offensive.
Neither of Florida’s Senators, Marco Rubio nor Rick Scott, have weighed in.
The anti-Trump Republican group The Lincoln Project tweeted: “I thought we were at least a few more weeks away from the President tweeting “White Power,” but I guess that’s what happens when you get caught letting Putin kill our soldiers.”
The Villages, the nation’s largest single-site retirement community, spans parts of Lake, Sumter and Marion counties. The right-leaning area has been a critical place for turning out Republican votes in Florida.