One day after being pushed to condemn white supremacy and hate groups, President Donald Trump turned back to spreading the alt-right message — including retweeting, then deleting, a cartoon of a person superimposed with the CNN logo being run over by a train.
The White House has since told NBC’s Kristen Welker that the retweet of the train-CNN meme was "inadvertently posted," and immediately removed when noticed.
Every Member of Congress must condemn POTUS for posting pic of a vehicle striking a reporter after terrorists used a vehicle to kill a woman pic.twitter.com/ryI1xMc4Nt— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 15, 2017
On Saturday, a Nazi sympathizer at a white supremacist rally — whose mother identified as a Trump supporter — rammed his car into a crowd of anti-racism counter-protesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen. In the immediate aftermath, Trump refused to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists specifically.
Then, after making a statement specifically denouncing racism, Trump retweeted another alt-right activist in a post that hit the media for focusing too much on Charlottesville instead of a recent spate of homicides in Chicago. Jack Posobiec was known for amplifying Pizzagate, the Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory that eventually led a gunman into a Washington, DC, pizza restaurant.
The tweet was both a nod to Trump’s “law and order” narrative and to his contempt for the media, after a spate of unfavorable stories censured his response to the recent violent white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Posobiec, the alt-right social media voice who Trump retweeted, had also shared — and eventually deleted — a fake news story falsely framing an “anti-Trump” demonstrator as the driver of the car.
Trump was clearly upset about the negative media attention he has been receiving in recent days. After making amended and stronger remarks about the terror attack in Charlottesville, Trump tweeted that the “#Fake News Media will never be satisfied.”
Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied...truly bad people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
Trump’s frustration with the media has resulted in alternate messages between attempts to appease the admonishing members of the Republican Party, while also currying the favor of a white nationalist base.
It appears he has settled on the latter.