President Trump called out Bubba Wallace on Monday, asking if he has “apologized” after the NASCAR driver turned out not to be the target of a hate crime when a noose was discovered in his garage.
Last month, the FBI and the Department of Justice determined that the noose hanging in Wallace’s Talladega, Alabama, garage was there as far back as last fall. Before that, a crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the noose at the Alabama race track and alerted NASCAR officials. The racing company then contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to investigate.
Trump blasted the incident as a “HOAX” in a tweet.
“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?” Trump tweeted. “That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
The “Flag decision” that the president referred to is a reference to NASCAR’s move to ban the Confederate flag, which it did last month after Wallace urged the racing company to do so during an interview with CNN.
Wallace is NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver.
NASCAR, which initially condemned the noose as a “heinous act,” has defended its actions — with NASCAR president Steve Phelps saying the company would handle it the same way over again, given the information presented at the time.
Prior to the investigation being completed, NASCAR’s drivers joined Wallace in a walk of solidarity before the race at Talladega.