President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE on Monday chastised NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag from its races and targeted one of the sport’s top black drivers, Bubba Wallace, roughly two weeks after an investigation into his claims that he found a noose in his garage stall concluded.
Trump asked if Wallace had apologized for what the president deemed a “hoax,” referring to an incident in which a noose was reported in the driver’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. An investigation later found that a pull rope had been tied in a knot that resembled a noose months earlier, and that it was not a hateful act targeted at Wallace.
“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?” Trump tweeted. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Prior to the investigation concluding, other drivers walked alongside Wallace’s car in a show of solidarity. NASCAR has since released photos of the noose, and Wallace expressed appreciation that the sport took the matter seriously.
The tweet marked the first time Trump had weighed in on either the Wallace incident or NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag, even though both took place weeks ago.
NASCAR announced in early June that displays of the flag at its events were banned, saying it “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”
The announcement came amid nationwide protests over racial injustice in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Trump, who has been an outspoken supporter of NASCAR and attended a race earlier this year, has increasingly dug in on cultural matters in recent weeks as his poll numbers drop.
He spent the Fourth of July weekend delivering a pair of speeches that lionized monuments and statues and decried those who sought to vandalize them or tear them down, and he has threatened to veto a massive defense policy bill over the inclusion of an amendment that would change the names of military installations bearing the names of Confederate leaders.