DONALD Trump has called on Nascar driver Bubba Wallace to apologise after a noose was found in his garage – an incident the US president considers a “hoax”.
Wallace, Nascar’s only black driver, last month said the “noose” was a hate crime toward him after he played a key role in getting the Confederate flag prohibited at rallies.
The FBI investigated and about two weeks ago concluded that a pull rope resembling a noose had been tied in his garage months earlier and that it was not a hate crime.
Over the course of the investigation, Wallace received an outpouring of support from drivers with Nascar, which banned the Confederate flag at its events in early June.
Though the Wallace incident and Nascar’s flag decision happened weeks ago, Trump’s tweet was the first time he has commented on both matters.
“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!”
As of a couple of hours of Trump tweeting, Wallace had not responded to the president’s remark.
After the FBI determined there was no evidence of a hate crime, Wallace told CBS he was most frustrated about “how they want to turn it into a hoax when I was just rational thoughts off factual information I was given.”
He added he believes people are trying to “dethrone” him and that he feels he is being “tested every day.”
Wallace also released a statement expressing “how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this wasn’t what we feared it was.
“I want to thank my team, Nascar and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a real threat,” Wallace stated.
“I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been.”
Trump earlier this year displayed support for Nascar and attended a race.
However, the president’s opinion of Nascar has changed as he continues to criticise people who have been removing statues, many of them of Confederate figures.
Regarding its decision to ban the Confederate flag at its events, Nascar stated that the presence of the flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”