The Trump campaign was taking some heat on Tuesday for a photo of the team on a plane. Users on Twitter did not fail to notice that nearly everyone in the picture was white, except for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., offered his rebuttal on Twitter.
The Trump campaign was in Iowa on Monday, canvassing for the incumbent president as Iowans voted for their Democratic nominee. The campaigns director of communications, Tim Murtaugh posted a group photo of the plane on the way home on Tuesday, with red hats stretching through an entire section.
Twitter users did not fail to notice that just about everyone in those seats was white. The main exception to that trend was Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon turned political commentator and then presidential candidate. Carson was crouched in the aisle of the plane, and Twitter users thought he had been "shoehorned" into the photo to give it the appearance of diversity.
"Weird I wonder why Ben Carson was awkwardly shoehorned into the center of this photo," wrote political pundit Brian Tyler Cohen.
"'If we make BEN CARSON awkwardly stand squat in the aisle, it will make it less obvious that everyone on this bus is white,'" added L.A. politician Kristina Wong in hypothetical dialogue from the scene.
Some viewers even went so far as to speculate that Carson had been photoshopped into the picture, including Democratic leader Jon Cooper, who tweeted: "Holy s—. Did Team Trump actually photoshop Ben Carson into this picture??"
In case anyone was wondering where Ben Carson’s seat was on the Team Trump plane - just check First Class top left. Thanks for playing Claire. pic.twitter.com/HxyHKz7PHp— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 4, 2020
Finally, Donald Trump Jr. fired back at one critic, former Senator and MSNBC analyst Claire McCaskill. McCaskill wrote that "one of these things is not like the other," referring to Carson standing out in the predominately white crowd.
"Hi Claire, two problems with your tweet," Trump Jr. wrote. "1. Dr. Ben Carson did not have a seat in this pic because he was sitting in First Class with my family. 2. Dr. Carson is not a 'thing,' he is a world renowned, life-saving neurosurgeon. Anyway, how's unemployment?"0comments
The president's son later shared another photo of the first class section of the plane, where he, his girlfriend, his brother, Carson and others were seated. His followers argued that this made McCaskill "racist," which she fired back at later.
... and starring ben carson as "the black one" pic.twitter.com/VH8LtFN08a— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 4, 2020
"Ummm. Pretty sure pointing out a lack of diversity is not racist. Sorry Trump world," she tweeted.