The Republican presidential frontrunner on Friday re-shared a Photoshopped image of rival Jeb Bush holding a sign that reads “Vote Trump.” The problem is who Trump retweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2016
Twitter user @WhiteGenocideTM, whose name is currently listed as “Donald Trumpovitz,” appears to be a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi. His account, which he created almost three years ago, is filled with blatantly anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim imagery and comments. His avatar is an illustration of George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party.
An archived version of the tweet, should it be deleted, is available here.
Users on Stormfront, the leading white nationalist Web community, praised Trump for sharing an image from @WhiteGenocideTM.
Stormfront approves of Trump’s latest encounter with white nationalists pic.twitter.com/o05F1YKhlo
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) January 22, 2016
“For a propaganda for us stand point freaking awesome,” wrote one user. “From a wanting Trump to win idk. The media is gonna be all over this.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Of course, it’s possible that a campaign staffer or an intern—and not Trump himself—retweeted the neo-Nazi’s image. But this isn’t the first time that Trump, a prolific Twitter user, has come under fire for a retweet. In October, Trump blamed a “young intern” for a tweet that mocked Iowans—the first voters in the nation to caucus in the presidential nominating contests.
The tweet read: “@mygreenhippo #BenCarson is now leading in the #polls in #Iowa. Too much #Monsanto in the #corn creates issues in the brain? #Trump #GOP.” Trump later said that the intern had apologized.
The young intern who accidentally did a Retweet apologizes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2015
The following month, on Nov. 24, Trump (or someone in his campaign) retweeted an incorrect statistic about racial violence in the U.S. that painted African-Americans in a negative light. A campaign spokesperson brushed off the retweet as unimportant.
In July, soon after his entrance into the 2016 race, Trump tweeted a new campaign poster that incorporated four Nazi reenactment soldiers in its background.
Connections to white nationalists and neo-Nazi voices are particularly potent for Trump, whose success in the polls is celebrated by neo-Nazis online thanks to his plans to ban Muslims from entering the United States and deport all illegal immigrants.
Trump currently leads by an average of 16 points in national polls, 2.6 points in Iowa, and 18 points in New Hampshire. The first 2016 ballots will be cast in Iowa on Feb. 1, followed by New Hampshire on Feb. 9.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman