What does it say about the state of politics when Donald Trump's reaction to President Obama's keynote speech at the DNC can be accurately described as both "surprisingly reserved" and "elevating the voice of yet another internet racist"?
On Wednesday evening, Donald Trump took to Twitter to respond to Barack Obama's impassioned endorsement of Hillary Clinton. But rather than launch into the sort blustering screed for which his account is infamous, Trump shot off just two tweets, both of them quotes.
The first response, posted just after President Obama concluded his speech, comes from David Wohl, an occasional Fox News commentator whose Twitter bio describes him as a "Surrogate for @realDonaldTrump."
While it's a little strange that a candidate running on the strength of his personal brand would choose to respond by quoting a professional spin doctor, the message itself—Wohl's running commentary on Obama's speech—was relatively tame: a rebuke on the president's critique of Trump's statements about NATO.
Shortly thereafter, Trump tweeted again, this time quoting an encouraging response to his first message from @Trumplican2016, an anonymous, unverified account with fewer than 1,000 followers.
Again, the message itself is fairly benign encouragement. But its source is something else entirely.
Shortly after Trump shoved Trumpublican2016 into the national spotlight, user @TakeThePith noted on Twitter that the account has a history of making offensive comments about black people—an observation amplified by Media Matters for America's Oliver Willis to his thousands of followers.
Specifically, @TakeThePith points out two tweets made by Trumpublican in 2012, one mocking black people for illiteracy, the other (since deleted) playing on stereotypes of African American criminality. Both tweets were preserved as screenshots:
The account has also tweeted images joking that Trump will cancel Cinco de Mayo, an illustration of Hillary Clinton giving Trump a hand job with the message, "Hey Bill, payback's a bitch," and a photograph of a white man wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt flipping off the camera while receiving oral sex from a black woman, captioned, "Happy Black History Month."
This is just the latest in a long, and well documented line of racially tinged social media snafus on Trump's part. In late 2015, Trump shared a graphic highlighting "black-on-black" crime statistics which was traced back to a neo-Nazi Twitter account. A few months later, he retweeted a doctored image of then-candidate Jeb Bush holding a "Vote Trump" sign originally shared by a white nationalist account. More recently, Trump shared an image widely considered to be anti-Semitic, which featured a Star of David and piles of money. He later attempted to explain the graphic as "a sheriff's star."
As of right now, Trump's quoted tweet following President Obama's address has not been deleted.