Donald Trump calls flying Confederate flag ‘freedom of speech’

President Donald Trump said the decision to fly the Confederate flag is one of ‘freedom of speech’ after lashing out at NASCAR for banning it from its racing events.

‘I view it as freedom of speech,’ he told NexStarDC’s Jessi Turnure in an interview Tuesday. ‘It’s freedom of speech. You do what you do. It’s freedom of speech. And NASCAR can do whatever they want and they’ve chosen to go a certain way and other people chose to go a different route. But it’s freedom of speech.’

In the clip released by NexStarDC, Trump did not reveal his personal feelings about the flag, which many see as a divisive, racist symbol. In the clip, he also did not discuss NASCAR Bubba Wallace, whom he attacked in a tweet on Monday.    

President Donald Trump said the decision to fly the Confederate flag is one of 'freedom of speech'

President Donald Trump said the decision to fly the Confederate flag is one of 'freedom of speech'

President Donald Trump said the decision to fly the Confederate flag is one of ‘freedom of speech’

In the clip of the interview with NexStarDC's Jessi Turnure, President Trump does not address his personal feelings on Confederate flag or talk about NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace

In the clip of the interview with NexStarDC's Jessi Turnure, President Trump does not address his personal feelings on Confederate flag or talk about NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace

In the clip of the interview with NexStarDC’s Jessi Turnure, President Trump does not address his personal feelings on Confederate flag or talk about NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace

‘I was just talking about the fact that that NASCAR chose to go a certain way and that’s going to be up to them,’ Trump said of his criticism of NASCAR’s decision to ban the flag. ‘That is up to them. I’m very friendly with NASCAR. I know the people there. I know drivers. I know a lot of them.’ 

NASCAR fans include many of the president’s supporters. In February, he and first lady Melania Trump visited the start of the annual Daytona 500 auto race and took a lap around the track in the Beast, the presidential limousine. 

Questions about the president’s personal feelings on the flag – which supporters call a symbol of independence – have been raised since his tweet.  

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany repeatedly failed during her press briefing on Monday to explain the president’s stance on the Confederate flag and why Wallace should apologize. 

‘The whole point of the tweet was to note the incident, the alleged hate crime that, in fact, was not a hate crime. At the very end, the ban on the flag was mentioned the broader context of the fact that he rejects this notion that somehow NASCAR men and women who go to the sporting events are racist when in fact, as it turns out, what we saw with the FBI report and the alleged incident of hate crime, it was a complete indictment of the media’s rush to judgment once again, calling this a hate crime when the FBI completely dismissed that,’ she said. 

President Trump on Monday lashed out at Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR, demanding he apologize to those who stood by him when a noose was reported to have be found in his garage stall. 

Wallace had not seen the noose that was found in his garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway at the end of June. A member of his team found it and flagged it to authorities. Steve Phelps, the president of NASCAR, informed Wallace of the finding and it was NASCAR that requested the investigation. An FBI probe found it had been there since at least October 2019 – used to close and open the garage door – and that Wallace had not been the target of a hate crime.  

But President Trump blasted Wallace – a staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matters movement who has worn an ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirt at events – for the ‘hoax’ as he called it. He also criticized NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag from its events. 

‘Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!,’ the president tweeted.

A campaign sign for U.S. President Donald Trump sits beside a Confederate flag bearing the words "I ain't coming down" in the backyard of a home in Sandston, Virginia

A campaign sign for U.S. President Donald Trump sits beside a Confederate flag bearing the words "I ain't coming down" in the backyard of a home in Sandston, Virginia

A campaign sign for U.S. President Donald Trump sits beside a Confederate flag bearing the words ‘I ain’t coming down’ in the backyard of a home in Sandston, Virginia

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace accused President Donald Trump of 'hate' toward him and said he would respond to that with 'love' after Trump criticized him on Twitter

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace accused President Donald Trump of 'hate' toward him and said he would respond to that with 'love' after Trump criticized him on Twitter

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace accused President Donald Trump of ‘hate’ toward him and said he would respond to that with ‘love’ after Trump criticized him on Twitter

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not address President Trump's stance on the Confederate flag when asked repeatedly during her press briefing on Monday

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not address President Trump's stance on the Confederate flag when asked repeatedly during her press briefing on Monday

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not address President Trump’s stance on the Confederate flag when asked repeatedly during her press briefing on Monday

McEnany said the president’s mention of the Confederate flag was not Trump’s way of taking a stance on the issue. 

‘I spoke to him this morning about this and he said he was not making a judgment one way or the other. The intent of the tweet was to stand up for the men and women of NASCAR,’ she said. 

And she again refused to answer what the president’s stance was on the confederate flag.  

‘I said his tweet was not to indicate approval or disapproval of that particular policy at NASCAR. It was, in aggregate, to stand against the rush to judgment, to call something a hate crime before the facts were out, when clearly the media was wrong about this,’ she said.

She repeatedly accused reporters of mischaracterizing Trump’s tweet from Monday morning.  

‘You are focusing on one word at the very bottom of a tweet. That is completely taking it out of context,’ she said.

Wallace, in his response, said he would meet the president’s ‘hate’ with ‘love.’

In a long statement posted to his Twitter account, the NASCAR driver advised people to ‘always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE!’

‘Your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others. You have to be prepared for that. You don’t learn these things in school. You learn them from trials and tribulations, the ups and doss this crazy world provides. You will always have people testing you. Seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal. I encourage you to keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen,’ Wallace said.

‘Never let anybody tell you can’t do something! God put us all here for a reason. Find that reason and be proud of it and work your tails off every day towards it! All the haters are doing is elevating your voice and platform to much greater heights! Last thing, always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate,’ he noted.

‘Even with it’s HATE from POTUS! Love wins,’ he concluded and signed the statement with his initials BW. 

Many NASCAR fans are also supporters of President Donald Trump; above he and first lady Melania Trump attend the opening of NASCAR's Daytona 500 in February

Many NASCAR fans are also supporters of President Donald Trump; above he and first lady Melania Trump attend the opening of NASCAR's Daytona 500 in February

Many NASCAR fans are also supporters of President Donald Trump; above he and first lady Melania Trump attend the opening of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in February

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump ride in the Beast - the presidential limousine - as they take a pace lap ahead of the start of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway in February

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump ride in the Beast - the presidential limousine - as they take a pace lap ahead of the start of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway in February

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump ride in the Beast – the presidential limousine – as they take a pace lap ahead of the start of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway in February

Trump’s tweet came after he made two fiery speeches over the Fourth of July holiday weekend that used divisive language to describe the Black Lives Matters protests that sprung up around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. He called them ‘angry mobs’ who sought to ‘unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities’ during his remarks Friday evening at Mount Rushmore. 

But few Republicans defended his demand of the NASCAR driver and his words about the Confederate flag, which Mississippi voted to remove from its state flag. Criticism of the flag has come amid a movement to remove monuments to Confederate officials from around the nation. 

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally, said NASCAR banned the Confederate flag to try and grow the sport’s fan base. 

‘They’re trying to grow the sport,’ Graham told Fox News Radio on Monday. ‘And I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life and if you’re in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.’

NASCAR, a popular support among Trump supporters, is one of the few sports back in action after many were sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic. It has put into place several protocols to deal with the threat of the virus and also instituted other changes, including banning the Confederate flag from all NASCAR events and properties – something the stock car sport did at Wallace’s urging.  

While Trump accused NASCAR of getting low ratings for banning the Confederate flag, ratings were up after the initial decision. And NBC, which airs the races, said ratings for Sunday’s race were 39 percent higher than last year’s average viewership.

The Confederacy has been on Trump’s mind as of late. He threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the military, if it contains a provision to rename military installations named for figures from the Confederacy, a move that has bipartisan support in Congress.

The NDAA authorizes $731.3 billion in military spending and the Senate is expected to take up debate on it when lawmakers return to Washington D.C. the week of July 20th. 

Link hienalouca.com

(Просмотров всего: 2 Время, 1 визитов за день)

Leave a Reply