President Donald Trump promoted a new video Wednesday that featured some of his favorite hits. Job creation, stock market growth, low unemployment rates, regulatory rollbacks, high approval rating among Republicans — all pretty obvious content. Trump himself posted the video on Twitter, with the comment “Thank you for your support as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
But toward the end of the video, the video uses a symbol of a lion’s head, which, as writer Dustin Giebel and former Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski first noted on Twitter, was also used by the far-right publication VDARE.
the image at the end of the video Trump tweeted earlier was popular amongst the fascists of Lion Guard and the white supremacists of Vdare in 2016 pic.twitter.com/XBCWoRblvp
— Dusty (@DustinGiebel) August 28, 2019
VDARE, which describes itself as “America’s Immigration Voice,” was founded by white nationalist Peter Brimelow and has regularly published the work of prominent far-right extremists, including Jared Taylor, a well-known figure in white nationalism for decades. Jason Kessler, who organized the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was also a contributor.
To further illustrate the flavor of the site, on Tuesday and Wednesday VDARE published three stories: one by Anne Coulter on the danger of “drunk driving illegal aliens;” one by hardline anti-immigrant activist Michelle Malkin; and one proclaiming that the U.S. was teetering on the edge of becoming a third-world country partly because of the recent attempted-assault conviction of two Proud Boys.
As Mediaite noted, the lion logo has been used by other far-right groups before VDARE. In 2016, a group called the “Lion Guard,” which described itself as an “informal civilian group dedicated to the safety and security of #Trump supports by exposing Far-Left infiltrators and saboteurs.” The group’s website, which doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2016, also features the lion as well as the quote from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini that it is “Better to be a lion for a day, than a lamb for eternity.”
Trump, of course, has a long and sordid history of amplifying far-right talking points, conspiracies, and prominent personalities. Aside from his outright racism, like saying members of the “Squad” of four congresswomen should to go back to the corrupt countries they “came from” — though three are American born and all are U.S. citizens — Trump has also tweeted about the South African “white genocide,” which is a favorite conspiracy trope of white nationalists.
Trump has also retweeted Katie Hopkins, a British far-right columnist, who once called migrants “cockroaches” and who tweeted in the wake of terror attacks in the U.K. in 2017 that a “final solution” was needed. In 2017, Trump also retweeted a video by the fringe, ultranationalist group Britain First, a-now defunct party whose deputy leader has been convicted of hate speech in Northern Ireland.
In fact, according to an August 2019 analysis from the Daily Beast, of the 178 unverified users that Trump has retweeted, nearly 10% have been suspended.
This post has been updated to clarify that the Trump campaign did not produce the video in question. It was produced by the Twitter account @som3thingwicked and was tweeted out by the president from his personal Twitter account.