Speed Reads

'one word at the very bottom'

White House claims Trump's Confederate flag tweet was taken 'out of context,' but won't clarify his position

The White House is now claiming that when President Trump lashed out at NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag, he was actually taking no position on the issue.

Trump in a tweet on Monday wrongly claimed that NASCAR's "flag decision," in addition to the recent incident involving Bubba Wallace, resulted in the "lowest ratings EVER." The "flag decision" he was referring to was NASCAR announcing it would ban display of the Confederate flag at events.

When asked in a briefing on Monday afternoon why Trump is supporting the Confederate flag, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said he "never said that" and that the tweet is being taken "completely out of context." Yet when directly asked whether Trump believes NASCAR should ban the Confederate flag or not, McEnany didn't say.

When McEnany was once again asked what Trump's position on NASCAR's Confederate flag ban is, she simply said the president "was not making a judgment one way or the other" in the tweet but again avoided saying what he thinks about it. She repeated that talking point a second time when a reporter followed up with the same question, this time faulting the press for "focusing on one word at the very bottom" of his tweet.

Trump in his tweet also suggested Bubba Wallace, the series' only Black driver, should apologize after the FBI concluded he wasn't the target of a hate crime following a noose being found in his garage stall, even though Wallace didn't report the noose. McEnany during the briefing said Trump was making a point about not rushing to judgment but offered no explanation as to why Wallace should need to apologize.