Meanwhile, Donald Trump has repeatedly used his position to personally attack Black athletes.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany argued on Monday that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace should apologize to officials and other drivers — as Donald Trump demanded Monday morning — because of others who have engaged in hate-crime hoaxes in the past.
Trump tweeted Monday morning that Wallace should apologize after a noose was found in the driver's garage. An FBI investigation found that the noose was in place since 2019 and no crime had been committed. Throughout the process, Wallace never made any accusations regarding the sport.
"Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are taught to hate," Wallace wrote in a statement responding to Trump on Monday afternoon. "Even when it's HATE from the POTUS… Love wins."
After being repeatedly pressed by reporters to explain why Trump is now asking Wallace, who is Black, to apologize, McEnany cited other incidents without directly addressing the attack on Wallace's character.
From a July 6 press briefing:
PAULA REID, CBS News: Why is it Bubba Watson's responsibility to apologize for an investigation into a noose that he didn't report and he never even saw? It was NASCAR that found this, that reported this, and even the FBI referred to it as a noose even if they said it wasn't a specific crime against Mr. Wallace. Why is the president even suggesting that Mr. Wallace should apologize?
KAYLEIGH McENANY: Well, look, the FBI as I noted concluded that this was not a hate crime, and he believes it'd go a long way if Bubba came out and acknowledged that as well.
REID: He has. In interviews he's been very clear that the FBI found this was not intentional. Why is he directing this at Mr. Wallace?
McENANY: This is where the president comes from, and this where the president stands. And he actually hinted at this in his July 4th speech: "To those in the media who falsely and consistently label their opponents as racists, who condemn patriotic citizens who offer a clear and truthful defense of American unity. We want a clear and faithful defense of American history and unity, and when you level false charges, you not only slander me, you slander the American people."
REID: Who was charged?
McENANY: He believes the American people are good people.
REID: It was an open investigation, Kayleigh, into a noose. The FBI said it was a noose.
McENANY:: In the allegations, in the rush to judgement with Jussie Smollett, in the Bubba Wallace case, and with the Covington Catholic boys, we shouldn't be so quick to jump onto those narratives.
Those are just three examples of those that have been proven false.
REID: Are you suggesting that Mr. Wallace should apologize for an investigation that someone else initiated suggesting he was possibly the victim of a hate crime?
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.