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Trump social media account shares video mentioning "unified reich;" Biden blasts "Hitler's language"

Trump social media video causes uproar
Video posted to Trump's social media featured phrase "unified Reich" 02:35

A video posted to Donald Trump's account on his social media network Monday included references to a "unified reich" among hypothetical news headlines depicting an election win by him in November. The video drew sharp criticism from President Biden, who accused Trump of using "Hitler's language."

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.

Video on Trump's Truth Social account
A video posted May 20 on former President Donald Trump's Truth Social account shows hypothetical headlines speaking of a "unified reich" if he wins the 2024 presidential election — language that drew fierce criticism from President Biden's campaign.  Chris DELMAS / AFP via Getty Images

The 30-second video appeared on Trump's account at a time when the presumptive Republican nominee for president, while seeking to portray President 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. It remained there until being removed the following morning.

"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 (reich), while the president was in court," Karoline Leavitt, the campaign press secretary, said in a statement.

The campaign later updated the statement to say it was posted by a "junior staffer." 

The White House condemned the video shared on Trump's account.

"It is abhorrent, sickening, and disgraceful for anyone to promote content associated with Germany's Nazi government under Adolf Hitler," said Senior Deputy White House Communications Director Andrew Bates. He added, "Any antisemitic dog whistling is dangerous and offensive — and profoundly un-American."

The president, during a Tuesday campaign event in Boston, also blasted the post. 

"Yesterday, his campaign posted online about if he wins it'll be a unified reich — like the Third Reich," Mr. Biden said. "This is the same guy that uses Hitler's language, not America's."

Earlier this month, Trump said at a fundraiser that Mr. 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 Holocaust-denying white nationalist Nick Fuentes 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.

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