Morning Chronicle - Trump video mentioning 'unified reich' draws White House ire

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Trump video mentioning 'unified reich' draws White House ire
Trump video mentioning 'unified reich' draws White House ire / Photo: Michael M. Santiago - POOL/AFP

Trump video mentioning 'unified reich' draws White House ire

The White House on Tuesday condemned a video posted by Donald Trump's social media account showing fake headlines about a "unified reich" if he wins the 2024 presidential election.

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President Joe Biden's election campaign accused Trump of echoing anti-Semitic ideas, while the White House said any content that promoted Nazi Germany was "sickening".

The video was eventually taken down from Trump's account on his Truth Social site on Tuesday, the day after it was posted.

"What happens after Donald Trump wins? What's next for America?" a voiceover asks in the 30-second clip, which flashes a series of fictitious news stories painting a picture of American prosperity.

Amid headlines including "Economy booms!" and "Border is closed," one mentions "the creation of a unified reich."

No direct reference to Nazis is made in the clip, but the word "reich" is commonly used in reference to the Third Reich of Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler.

Other references in the video, which appeared to have multiple copy-and-pasted chunks of text to fill out the "newspaper" background, mention World War I. The "unified reich" headline appears to reference the 1871 unification of Germany.

In a statement, Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said the post had no official backing and that the "reich" reference was unintentional.

"This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a staffer who clearly did not see the word," she said.

Trump didn't respond to shouted questions about the video as he attended his historic criminal hush money trial in New York.

- 'Abhorrent' -

The post comes as Trump has repeatedly sought to portray Biden as failing to curb anti-Semitism in the United States during a period of rising tensions fueled by the war in Gaza.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was expected to comment himself on the video later during a campaign event in New Hampshire.

"It is abhorrent, sickening and disgraceful for anyone to promote content associated with Germany's Nazi government under Adolf Hitler," Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling with Biden aboard Air Force One.

"Any anti-Semitism, dog whistling, is dangerous and offensive and profoundly un-American," Jean-Pierre said.

Trump has repeatedly used rhetoric that carries clear echoes of Nazi ideology, including describing domestic opponents as "vermin" and immigrants as "poisoning the blood" of the United States.

While president, Trump in 2017 described some neo-Nazi marchers during violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia -- who had chanted "Jews will not replace us" -- as "very fine people," and he has dined with white nationalists at his Florida estate.

Trump has a "long history" of anti-Semitic behavior, the Biden campaign said.

"Donald Trump is not playing games. He is telling America exactly what he intends to do if he regains power: rule as a dictator over a 'unified reich',' Biden-Harris spokesperson James Singer said.

The video was "part of a pattern of his praise for dictators and echoing anti-Semitic tropes," Singer added.

The Biden campaign meanwhile asked "why the hell was it posted in the first place?" and "why did it take so long to take it down?"