'The president has picked a side': Biden slams Trump over 'white power' video

Louise Hall
REUTERS

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden has hit out at Donald Trump’s retweet of a video that included a demonstrator shouting “white power”, insisting that the president has “picked a side”.

“Today the President shared a video of people shouting ‘white power’ and said they were ‘great.’ Just like he did after Charlottesville,” Mr Biden tweeted on Sunday.

“We’re in a battle for the soul of the nation — and the President has picked a side. But make no mistake: it’s a battle we will win.”

The presumptive Democratic nominee referred to Mr Trump’s comments following the deadly alt-right rally in Charlottesville 2017, after which the president said there had been 'very fine people' on “all sides” in reference to far-right protesters and counter-demonstrators.

The president faced criticism for both the delay and content of his responses, with Mr Trump later defending his decision to wait two days to respond to the violence, which left three dead and forced Virginia to declare a state of emergency.

Mr Biden’s scathing comments came after Mr Trump shared a video on Twitter on Sunday showing a supporter yelling “white power” at protesters in a Florida retirement community.

The video showed a series of clips of protesters on either side of a parade of golf carts with drivers holding American flags and signs supporting the president’s re-election campaign.

In the first clip, a man in a “Veterans for Trump” shirt pump his fist and yells “white power”.

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Mr Trump said in a post retweeting the video, according to The Hill. “The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!”

The video was deleted from his timeline several hours later on Sunday.

In a statement, a White House spokesperson claimed that the president “did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”

The protests in Florida began following demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis custody after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time.

The unnecessary death of Floyd and other black Americans such as Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor has sparked national civil unrest across the US with demonstrations taking place against police brutality against black Americans, systemic racism, and racial discrimination.

Right-wing counter-demonstrators have clashed with civil rights protesters across the US in recent weeks.

Before the tweet was deleted, Senator Tim Scott the GOP’s sole Black senator, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump should take down the retweeted video.

“There’s no question he should not have retweeted it, and he should just take it down,” Mr Scott, who led the GOP’s police reform effort, reportedly told the outlet.

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