Bubba Wallace called out "hate from the POTUS" on Monday after President Donald Trump falsely claimed that an earlier incident involving a noose found in the NASCAR driver's stall was a "hoax" and demanded that he apologize.
"Love should come naturally as people are taught to hate. Even when it's hate from the POTUS," Wallace, the only Black full-time driver on NASCAR's top circuit, tweeted Monday.
After Wallace successfully led efforts to have the Confederate flag banned at all NASCAR events, the rope was discovered in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama in June.
The FBI later determined that the noose had been in the garage since at least October, months before Wallace occupied it, and that the driver was not the target of a hate crime.
But investigators did not classify the incident as a hoax, nor did they indicate that Wallace was involved in any way.
Wallace told CNN's Don Lemon following the investigation that he was not the one who had reported the noose — and in fact he hadn't seen it himself — but was alerted to its discovery by NASCAR President Steve Phelps.
NASCAR officials said they launched an investigation into the garage door pull rope being "fashioned like a noose" prior to informing Wallace of its discovery.
Wallace maintained that the intention behind the tying of the rope was clear, whether or not the noose was targeted at him specifically.
"I’ve been racing all my life. We’ve raced out of hundreds of garages that never had garage pulls like that," he told CNN. "Whether tied in 2019 or whenever, it was a noose. It wasn't directed at me, but somebody tied a noose. It was— It is a noose."
At the White House press briefing Monday, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany falsely claimed that Wallace hadn't acknowledged that the incident was not determined to be a hate crime.
She did not answer questions as to why Wallace should apologize for a hate crime investigation he did not initiate.
McEnany said Trump was not "making a judgment one way or another" in regards to NASCAR banning the Confederate flag. She accused a reporter of "focusing on one word at the very bottom of a tweet" and "completely taking it out of context."
In a statement Monday, NASCAR commended Wallace's "courage and leadership" and vowed continued support for the driver.