Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Trump retweets call to let ‘Democrat cities rot’ over video of NYC protesters

Message was posted by Trump supporter and right-wing activist Brandon Straka

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 18 August 2020 02:20 BST
Comments
Trump calls universal mail-in voting a 'catastrophic situation'

Donald Trump has come under fire for appearing to endorse a tweet calling for “Democrat cities” to be left to “rot” amid continuing unrest in several metropolises over the killing of George Floyd.

The president retweeted a post by Brandon Straka, a right-wing activist, which called for people to “leave Democratic cities”, as Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets for an 11th week running.

Mr Straka, a Trump supporter who started the #WalkAway movement in 2018 after renouncing the Democratic Party, was commenting on a video of demonstrators in New York City.

The video, originally posted by retired NYPD detective Rob O’Donnell, showed protesters shouting at the driver of a car while they attempted to block traffic on Times Square.

Responding to the video, Straka, who made headlines in June after being recorded refusing to wear a face mask on board an American Airlines flight, said Democrats had “activated a mental illness” that was ruining US cities.

Mr Trump retweeted the post, leading to criticism the US was now existing in a state of “cold civil war.”

“If Obama had retweeted someone saying ‘leave Republican states. Let them rot’ it would have been a multi-week, multi-month political scandal requiring clarifications and apologies from every top Dem.,” columinst Mehdi Hasan said in a tweet.

“With Trump, it won’t even register in *today’s* headlines.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper said: “I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it, but I checked, and yes, the president of the United States actually retweeted this message to ‘Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot.”

“How do @GOP voters living in Democrat-controlled cities feel about the strategy your leader in D.C. just endorsed: ‘Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot.” Maybe you should vote #BidenHarris2020 this time round”, said the author Keith Devlin.

Brandon Friedman, former columnist at the New York Daily News, said that the tweet showed the country was in a “civil war” of sorts.

“This is from the commander-in-chief, the President of the United States, further confirming that we are presently in a cold civil war,” Friedman wrote.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in