President Donald Trump attacked NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on Monday, calling the noose controversy a “HOAX” and asking if Wallace had issued an apology.
The president also went after NASCAR for banning Confederate flags, tweeting that the combination of the two incidents “has caused lowest ratings EVER.” In fact, Saturday’s Xfinity race was reportedly the highest rated in three years, The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay tweeted.
“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” Trump tweeted.
Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
Wallace pushed for NASCAR to get rid of the Confederate flag earlier in June, saying that “there should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they have seen, an object they have seen flying.” (RELATED: Bubba Wallace Tells NASCAR ‘Get Rid Of All Confederate Flags’)
NASCAR announced later in June that a noose had been found hanging in Wallace’s garage. Wallace decried the incident in a statement and garnered support from his fellow drivers. The FBI then investigated the incident and determined that the noose had been in the garage since October 2019 and “that no federal crime was committed.”
“We appreciate the FBI’s quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba,” NASCAR said in a statement following the FBI’s findings.
Before the investigation was complete, Wallace told co-hosts on ABC’s “The View” that he was offended by suggestions that the incident was a hoax. He then doubled down on the original noose findings after the FBI determined it was a pull rope fashioned like a noose. (RELATED: ‘IStandWithBubba’ Trends For Wallace As NASCAR Pushes His Car To Front Of Race)
“I’ve been racing all of my life. We’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that … It’s a straight up noose,” Wallace told CNN’s Don Lemon June 23.
The NASCAR driver issued a different statement June 24, saying he was “relieved that this wasn’t what we feared it was.”
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An image of the rope in question was released to the media by NASCAR after the FBI completed its investigation.
NASCAR releases photo to the media of the garage pull rope formed as a noose from the Bubba Wallace garage Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
This image was provide by NASCAR. pic.twitter.com/Z4ZyBzpREF
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) June 25, 2020