President Donald Trump tore into NASCAR and driver Bubba Wallace in a Monday morning tweet accusing both of mishandling recent controversies amid nationwide civil and racial unrest.
Trump asked whether Wallace had apologized for the recent flap about a “noose” found in his garage and also hit racing’s governing body for its ban on Confederate battle flag imagery, which has turned off some fans of the sport.
“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 wrote on Twitter Monday.
“That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” the president added.
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
The reference to the flag was an apparent reference to NASCAR’s decision to ban Confederate flags from events and properties.
The ban was instituted on June 10.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 10, 2020
Reports of a supposed noose found in the Talladega garage of Wallace, the sport’s only back driver, overtook NASCAR beginning on June 22.
A thorough FBI investigation found the so-called noose to be a garage door pull rope that had been in place since last year.
On what ultimately ended up being a garage door pull rope, he said the apparent act of racism “only strengthens our resolve to make this sport open and welcoming to all.”
“The drivers feel very strongly that they want to show their support of Bubba,” the NASCAR president said.
“He’s a member of the NASCAR community. He’s a member of the NASCAR family. The outpouring of support over the last couple weeks from our drivers, from the industry as a whole, from the fans, has been phenomenal. Whatever happens, it’s going to happen organically. It will be heartfelt. I’m looking forward to whatever they come up with,” Phelps said.
Video of NASCAR drivers rallying around Wallace went viral online.
Moving and powerful scenes in Talladega as drivers and crew show support for Bubba Wallace. pic.twitter.com/UYtvYAcZLY
— Andrew Gourdie (@AndrewGourdie) June 22, 2020
The FBI’s conclusion that no crime occurred did not deter Wallace from going on a media tour in which he claimed that the rope on the garage door was still a “straight-up noose.”
On June 24, Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon that no matter what the investigation found, his mind would not be changed.
“I’ve been racing all of my life,” he said. “We’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that. So people that want to call it a garage pull and put out all the videos and photos of knots being as their evidence, go ahead, but from the evidence that we have — and I have — it’s a straight-up noose.”
At first, Bubba Wallace was the victim of a misunderstanding. His mistake is NOW digging his heels in. “It’s a straight up noose!” Progressives want to do away with rule of law and for their own judgment to be final. Regardless of evidence. pic.twitter.com/ySGzZPATU1
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) June 24, 2020
“Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose,” Wallace told CNN. “So it wasn’t directed at me, but somebody tied a noose. That’s what I’m saying.”
He later shifted gears, saying in a statement June 24, “It’s been an emotional few days. First off, I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this wasn’t what we feared it was. I want to thank my team, NASCAR and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat.
“I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) June 24, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany spoke about Trump’s call for an apology from Wallace during an interview with Fox News on Monday.
.@PressSec is asked about President Trump’s tweet ripping into NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace this morning:
“What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts, before the facts, is unacceptable.”pic.twitter.com/HRyVMe2DVo
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 6, 2020
“What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts, before the facts, is unacceptable,” McEnany said.
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