President Donald Trump sparked widespread criticism on Sunday after he shared a tweet attacking “Democrat cities” and calling for them to be left to “rot.”
The tweet, originally posted by Brandon Straka, was a commentary on footage of protesters in New York City yelling at drivers. Straka, who describes himself as a Trump supporter, accused Democrats of activating a mental illness that had ruined America’s metropolises.
In 2018, Straka founded the #WalkAway Campaign, a self-described grassroots operation that encourages people to abandon the Democratic Party. Straka also achieved notoriety in June for his removal from American Airlines Flight 1263, from New York City to Dallas, after declining to wear a face mask.
Straka’s rhetoric bears similarities to a recent rant by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who argued that America’s cities have been destroyed by liberal elites who need to have their passports seized before they try to flee the country.
Numerous voices across social media blasted the president’s decision to retweet Straka, calling the move unpresidential:
If Obama had retweeted someone saying ‘leave Republican states. Let them rot’ it would have been a multi-week, multi-month political scandal requiring clarifications and apologies from every top Dem. With Trump, it won’t even register in *today’s* headlines.#imagineifObamadidit https://t.co/Y8vvITaPHQ
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) August 16, 2020
Really, he did that today. pic.twitter.com/EzcGljLTca
— Dan Murphy (@bungdan) August 16, 2020
Imagine the national headlines if Joe Biden suggested that we walk away from rural Americans and literally let them rot.
Yet Trump suggests exactly that of American cities and barely a mention.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 16, 2020
He, his sycophants, and his complicit cult are traitors to these United States, imo. They show their true colors every day, and are becoming more blatant about it. They don't even try to hide it, almost as if they are challenging We, the People to try to stop them.
— davey sojourner's frikkin' pissed off. (@Davey_Sojourner) August 17, 2020
How do @GOP voters living in Democrat-controlled cities feel about the strategy your leader in D.C. just endorsed: “Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot.” Maybe you should vote #BidenHarris2020 this time round
— Keith Devlin (@profkeithdevlin) August 16, 2020
In November, vote for the guy who isn’t a narcissistic psychopath.
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 16, 2020