President Trump attacked NASCAR on Monday and asked why Bubba Wallace, the only black driver of the motor racing company, had not apologized after the high-profile investigation of a rope found in his garage which, according to Trump, s turned out to be a hoax.
“Did @BubbaWallace apologize to all of these great NASCAR drivers and officials who came to his aid, stood by his side and were ready to sacrifice everything for him, only to discover that everything was not than another HOAX? Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning. “The That & Flag decision caused the lowest scores of all time!” “
The incident last month at the Talladega SuperSpeedway involving the rope in his garage appeared to be the result of a misunderstanding, not an intentional effort to tie a noose in his area. Wallace himself had never seen the rope – this was reported by another NASCAR employee.
After the FBI went to inspect the situation, the office determined that it was a garage door pull rope and had been hanging in the garage assigned to Wallace since at least October, when no one could not know that Wallace’s team would be assigned to it.
But before it was determined that it was a tug of war, the entire NASCAR family showed their support for Wallace, with all his fellow pilots and their crews behind him in the pits lane before the Geico 500.
BUBBA WALLACE’S GIRLFRIEND ‘SO MUCH THANKING’ THAT ‘NOOSE’ WAS NOT DIRECTED ON HIM
Wallace was initially wary of the FBI’s conclusions, before accepting their determination and saying he was “relieved” that the noose-style rope was not for him.
Shortly after the FBI decision, Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon that the rope was a “noose” and that he had never seen anything like it.
“I’ve been running my whole life,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We ran out of hundreds of garages that had never had garage pulls like this. So people who want to call it a garage and put all the videos and photos of knots as evidence, go ahead, but based on the evidence we have – and I have – it’s a noose. ”
The next day Wallace tweeted a statement in a different tone. “First of all, I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation has revealed that this is not what we feared. I want to thank my team, NASCAR and the FBI for acting quickly and treating this as a real threat. ” Wrote Wallace. “I think we will gladly be a little embarrassed about the possible alternatives,” he added.
Even some regular Republican allies objected to Trump’s tweet.
“I don’t think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize about,” South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said on Brian Kilmeade’s Brian News radio show on Monday. “You have seen the best in NASCAR. When there was a chance it was a threat to Bubba Wallace, [they] all rallied alongside Bubba. I would try to celebrate this kind of attitude more than worry that it is a hoax. ”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the president’s remarks on Fox News on Monday morning: “The president just stresses that we have to let the facts come out before we pass judgment. ”
Wallace, originally from Alabama, has played an active role in the fight against racial injustice. He wore a shirt saying “I Can’t Breathe,” ran with a Black Lives Matter paint scheme in Virginia, and successfully lobbied for a ban on the Confederate flag of NASCAR.
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In early June, NASCAR banned all Confederate flags from its events following protests of racial injustice and police brutality nationwide.
For over 70 years, the flag has been a common and complicated sight in NASCAR racing. The series first tried to ban the Confederate flag five years ago, but did nothing to enforce order.
Brie Stimson and The Associated Press of Fox News contributed to this report.