After a door pull-down rope tied into a noose was found in the garage of stall of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, fellow drivers rallied around the African-American driver, though investigators later determined it had been there for months and Wallace was not the target of a hate crime. On Monday, President Trump weighed in: Has Wallace "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 Monday. "That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!" the president added, referring to Wallace's successful push to have Confederate flags banned from NASCAR tracks.
NASCAR says the noose, which Wallace never saw, was real, and a check of 1,684 garage stalls at 29 tracks found that the only garage door pull-down fashioned in a noose was the one found in Wallace's stall at the Talladega Superspeedway. Politico notes that NASCAR ratings actually rose after Confederate flags were banned, and the Talladega race was the sport's most-watched Monday race since 2014. After Trump's tweet, NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick said he and other drivers do not want an apology. "We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support," he said, per ESPN. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, asked about Trump's "hoax" accusation, said the president is "merely pointing out that we've got to let facts come out before we jump to judgment." (Read more Bubba Wallace stories.)