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Trump posted a video on Truth Social calling the country a 'unified reich' if he wins

Detail of the "unified reich" text beneath a hypothetical "MAGA!!" headline.
Detail of the "unified reich" text beneath a hypothetical "MAGA!!" headline.

Updated May 21, 2024 at 20:22 PM ET

Former President Donald Trump posted a video to Truth Social Monday night portraying hypothetical headlines about a second Trump term. Beneath one is text about "the creation of a unified reich."

The post had been removed from Truth as of Tuesday morning, but several Twitter users reposted it before it could be taken down.

The video purports to show news stories that would be written if Trump were elected: "ECONOMY BOOMS," reads one headline. "BORDER CLOSED," declares another.

The video ends on a large headline reading "MAGA!!" Beneath it, in blurry but legible text, a smaller headline talks about the "creation of a unified reich." The use of the German word "reich" is reminiscent of the Third Reich, the official Nazi designation for its government and territory.

In another part of the video, a background headline also says, "President Trump rejects globalist warmon" — the word "warmongers" presumably being cut off here. Some consider the word "globalist" an antisemitic slur.

Throughout the video, the newspaper backgrounds appear to have been cobbled together from World War I-era news, referring to events and dates from that time period.

The Trump campaign has distanced itself from the video, saying it was created elsewhere.

"This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a junior staffer who clearly did not see the word, while the President was in court," said Trump spokesperson Karoline Leavitt in a written statement.

The incident adds to a long line of connections between the former president and antisemitism.

Last fall, Trump called his opponents "vermin," and in an interview with a far-right website said that immigrants were "poisoning the blood" of the nation — language that echoed Adolf Hitler.

Then, not long after the "vermin" speech, Trump hosted a dinner attended Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite. Fuentes was a guest at that dinner of Kanye West, another Trump ally with a history of antisemitic views.

In all of these cases, Trump denies wrongdoing. For example, he later posted to Truth Social that he "knew nothing about" Fuentes, and that West brought him uninvited to the dinner.

These antisemitic connections stretch back to the 2016 campaign. In early 2016, he at one point declined to disavow the support he was receiving from white supremacists including former KKK grand wizard David Duke.

Later that year, he shared an image on Twitter featuring a six-pointed star with text declaring Hillary Clinton to be the "most corrupt candidate ever!" The star was placed next Hillary Clinton's head, photoshopped over a background of money.

And as president in 2017, he responded to the violence during a Charlottesville, Va., white nationalist rally by declaring there to be "very fine people on both sides."

In a Philadelphia speech to members of the Service Employees International Union, Vice President Kamala Harris blasted Trump for posting the video: "This kind of rhetoric is unsurprising coming from the former president, and it is appalling. And we've got to tell him who we are. And once again it shows that our freedom and our very democracy are at stake."

Copyright 2024 NPR

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political correspondent assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on The NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.