President Trump Calls for Apology From NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace
President Donald Trump has suggested that NASCAR's Bubba Wallace should apologize to his fellow drivers and crew following an incident last month when Wallace's team found a noose hanging in the driver's Talladega Superspeedway garage. At the same time, Trump defended the use of the Confederate flag.
In a July 6 tweet, the president claimed that the noose incident was a hoax, also alleging that NASCAR's recent banning of the Confederate flag at races had contributed to low television ratings.
Following an investigation in June, the FBI concluded that Wallace hadn't been the victim of a hate crime. Still, it "was a noose," as Wallace told CNN after the bureau's report found that the looped rope had been in the garage well before Wallace's team was assigned to it.
"Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose," he stated. "So, it wasn't directed at me, but somebody tied a noose."
Regardless, that didn't stop Trump's decision to use the term "hoax" on Monday. Among the president's barrage of Twitter posts that morning was the message that requested Wallace's apology.
"Has [Bubba Wallace] 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!"
Why is Trump concerned about the situation now, two weeks after the noose came to light? Some have indicated it might be because driver Corey LaJoie's "Trump 2020" car crashed and was totaled during Sunday's Brickyard 400.
LaJoie's GoFas Racing team announced last week that a political action committee, the Patriots of America, had agreed to a nine-race deal with the team endorsing Trump's re-election via a Trump 2020 slogan painted on the car. (LaJoie himself has not publicly declared support for Trump, and has locked down his Twitter account in the wake of the sponsorship.)
Wallace — the only Black driver among NASCAR's full-time stock car circuit — appeared mostly responsible for the push to have the association ban the Confederate flag after he made such an appeal in early June.
As clearly pointed out by The Charlotte Observer on Monday, both of Trump's claims — that the noose incident was a "hoax" (which "by definition is a malicious or humorous deception") and that NASCAR's TV ratings have slipped following the flag ban — are demonstrably false.
The Observer put it in more absolute terms in its headline, saying that "President Trump told 2 lies in 279 characters."
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