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Trump deletes ‘unified Reich’ video from Truth Social after severe backlash

A video posted to Donald Trump’s account on his social media network included references to a “unified Reich” among hypothetical news headlines if he wins the election in November.

Former US President Donald Trump, center, and Todd Blanche, attorney for former US President Donald Trump, right, at Manhattan criminal court in New York, US, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of an alleged scheme to silence claims of extramarital sexual encounters during his 2016 presidential campaign. Photographer: Justin Lane/EPA/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

The headline appears among messages flashing across the screen such as “Trump wins!!” and “Economy booms!” Other headlines appear to be references to World War I. The word “Reich” is often largely associated with Nazi Germany’s Third Reich, though the references in the video Trump shared appear to be a reference to the formation of the modern pan-German nation, unifying smaller states into a single Reich, or empire, in 1871.

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The 30-second video appeared Monday on Trump’s account at a time when the presumptive Republican nominee for president, while seeking to portray President Joe Biden as soft on antisemitism, has himself repeatedly faced criticism for using language and rhetoric associated with Nazi Germany.

It was posted and shared on the former president’s Truth Social account while he was on a lunch break from his Manhattan hush money trial Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, the post of the video had been deleted.

“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, while the President was in court,” Karoline Leavitt, the campaign press secretary, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Trump said at a fundraiser that Biden is running a “Gestapo administration,” referring to the secret Nazi police force.

Trump previously used rhetoric echoing Adolf Hitler when he said immigrants entering the U.S. illegally are “poisoning the blood of our country,” and called his opponents “vermin.”

The former president has also drawn wide backlash for having dined with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist in 2022 and for downplaying the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists chanted “Jews will not replace us!”

At least one of the headlines flashing in the video appears to be text that is copied verbatim from a Wikipedia entry on World War I: “German industrial strength and production had significantly increased after 1871, driven by the creation of a unified Reich.”

In one image, the headlines “Border Is Closed” and “15 Million Illegal Aliens Deported” appear above smaller text with the start and end dates of World War I.

The video appears to have been created by a meme creator who goes by the username Ramble_Rants.

The creator, who is part of a group of meme makers that The New York Times reported has previously collaborated with the Trump campaign, posted the video on the social platform X Monday morning.

In a post on X, Ramble_Rants defended the video, arguing that it was about “American peace and prosperity.”

The user explained in a post that the newspaper clippings in the video were pre-selected as part of a template showing historical headlines from the stock video company Envato Elements.

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