Days after a car attack killed a 32-year-old woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump faced swift criticism for retweeting -- and then deleting -- an image of a "Trump train" running over a person with a CNN logo on their face

By Tierney McAfee
August 15, 2017 01:28 PM
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Days after a car attack killed a 32-year-old woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump faced swift criticism for retweeting — and then deleting — an image of a “Trump train” running over a person with a CNN logo on their face.

Trump blasted out the violent image, posted by a supporter who added the caption “Nothing can stop the #TrumpTrain!!,” to his nearly 36 million followers on Tuesday morning.

He quickly deleted the image amid the backlash — but not before it was retweeted by hundreds of followers and captured in screen shots by journalists and critics who called the president’s handiwork “more than disturbing” and “window … into the man’s dark soul.”

Many pointed out that the retweet came one day after Trump called for unity and love in a follow-up statement Monday on the violent clash between white nationalists and counterprotesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend.

Counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 others were injured when a man identified by police as 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. Two Virginia state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, also died in a helicopter crash while responding to the demonstrations. Trump’s initial statement on Saturday was widely criticized for not going far enough to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Hours after the president’s Trump train retweet, an anonymous White House official told CNN that the image was “inadvertently posted” and “immediately deleted” once it was noticed.

But Twitter was not buying it.

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Also on Tuesday morning, Trump retweeted a Twitter user named Mike Holden who called the president a “fascist” in response to a Fox News story saying Trump had told the network that he was considering issuing a presidential pardon for former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of defying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

That retweet was also quickly deleted.

Late Monday, the president also retweeted Jack Posobiec, a conservative Trump supporter who has repeatedly posted on social media about “pizzagate,” an unfounded conspiracy theory that claims Democrats harbor child sex slaves at a pizza restaurant.

Posobiec’s tweet read: “Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?”

Trump has not taken down that retweet.