President Donald Trump boards Air Force One during his departure from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)
President Trump started off Tuesday morning by retweeting a number of controversial images and sources – ranging from a known conspiracy theorist to an image depicting violence against the media.
The retweet storm came as critics wondered why Trump’s scripted statement denouncing white supremacists for their role in the violence in Charlottesville came 48 hours after his initial remarks chiding “many sides” were criticized as inadequate.
Trump retweeted Jack Posobiec, an alt-right figure who pushed the Pizzagate and Seth Rich conspiracy theories, who questioned why there was no similar outrage over the violence in Chicago.
“Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?”
The retweet remained on the president’s account as of Tuesday morning.
The president also retweeted the account @slandinsocal, who posted an image of a person holding a CNN sign being hit by a train, with the commentary, “Nothing can stop the #TrumpTrain!!”
The White House said in a statement that this tweet was inadvertently posted and as soon it was noticed it was immediately deleted. The president has deleted tweets and retweets in the past.
Yet the image was reminiscent of another controversial tweet, when the president posted a gif that depicted him punching CNN.
The retweet also comes the day after the president called a CNN reporter “fake news” during an exchange at the White House.
And the retweet’s timing struck many social media users as in especially poor taste, just days after a 20-year-old alleged white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of people protesting the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville – killing one and wounding 19 others in an incident Attorney General Jeff Sessions said appeared to fit the legal definition of domestic terrorism.
Walter Shaub, the former head of the Office of Government Ethics, called on Congress to condemn the president, given the recent violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Trump also retweeted Mike Holden, who called the president a “fascist” in response to news that the president was “seriously considering” a pardon for former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Trump had retweeted a story about a possible pardon for Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt related to a racial profiling case – which in itself would be highly controversial in the immediate aftermath of Charlottesville.
Trump’s retweet of the accusation of fascism, the White House said, was also inadvertent and deleted.
Yet Holden’s Twitter bio reads, “Officially Endorsed by the President of the United States. I wish that were a good thing.”