Donald Trump is currently facing record-lows for support of an incumbent president and trying to lead through a global pandemic, but for some reason, he still appears to have NASCAR on his mind.
During his Monday morning callouts on Twitter, the president decided it was time to bring the Bubba Wallace story back into the headlines.
Trump took aim at NASCAR and put them on blast for the decision to ban the Confederate flag at all events moving forward, while also saying that Wallace should apologize to NASCAR and his fellow drivers for the noose “hoax” which made national headlines and sparked an FBI investigation.
“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. “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
Trump’s decision to distract from current news raised some eyebrows, so it was only a matter of time until White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was forced to come to his defense.
McEnany says that the president was simply trying to make an important point that people should not rush to judgement until all of the facts are known, while also comparing the incident to the staged hate crime by actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago last year.
“What the president is making is a broader point that this rush to judgment on the facts before the facts are out is unacceptable,” McEnany said on Fox News.
Fox News grilled Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany about the president attacking Bubba Wallace. She claims "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/ELdBcKnxtX
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) July 6, 2020
For what it is worth, while the FBI did not find that Wallace was the victim of a targeted hate crime, they did characterize the rope found in his garage as a noose.
And, for context, NASCAR President Steve Phelps says NASCAR conducted a “thorough sweep of all 29 tracks where they race, and 1684 garage stalls, they found only 11 total ropes that had a pulldown rope tied in a knot, and just one noose: The one in Bubba Wallace garage,” according to ESPN’s Marty Smith.