Villagers for Trump is making one thing clear – the man seen yelling “White power” in a video of their recent golf cart parade that made headlines around the world isn’t a member of their club.
A portion of the video, which was shot on June 14 during the Villagers for Trump golf cart parade at Lake Sumter Landing and posted with a story that afternoon, was included in a tweet President Trump sent out Sunday morning.
A man who was identified by multiple media sources as a retired Miami-Dade County firefighter is seen in the video screaming “White power!” at Democratic protesters who labeled the parade participants as “Nazi lovers” and “cult” members. The protesters also shouted “(expletive deleted) Trump” as the golf carts paraded past them in Market Square in front of Panera Bread, with at least one parade participant responding with his middle finger and another stopping his golf cart and almost getting into a confrontation.
Trump deleted the post later Sunday morning and the White House quickly claimed he hadn’t heard the phrase “White power” before he sent out the tweet. A spokesman said he was simply showing support for Villagers who are backing his candidacy for re-election.
“Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!” the tweet read.
On Sunday, the president’s tweet drew immediate interest from news organizations across the globe and quickly made the rounds of Sunday morning television news shows. CNN, Fox News and NPR released reports a short time after the tweet, as did USA Today, the Washington Post, Bloomberg.com, Politico, Time.com, BBC.com, The Guardian, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, to name a few. Forbes.com also posted a story with the headline: “White Supremacy In The Villages? What Trump’s Troubling Tweet Says About America.”
After the tweet was deleted, many Villagers cringed at the unwanted attention that was paid to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. Diane Yates, of the Village of Virginia Trace, said the things that happened at the controversial golf cart parade don’t represent the mega-retirement community. And Kathy Strope, of the Village of Silver Lake, said she’s afraid the president’s tweet will leave a scar on the community’s reputation.
On Tuesday, Villagers for Trump member Denise Neal, who serves on the marketing and merchandising team for the group, emailed Villages-News.com to assure the news organization that the man isn’t a member of the highly popular and fast-growing GOP organization.
On Monday, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue released a statement via its Twitter account that didn’t identify the man by name but condemned the “White power” statement. It read: “The statement made by a longtime retired employee does not reflect Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s core values of integrity and respect for the diverse and multi-cultural community we serve. This retired employee acted as a private citizen and his views and actions are NOT representative of who we are and what we stand for.”