President Donald Trump says he has instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to "closely study the South Africa land and farm seizure and large scale killing of farmers," hyping a fringe talking point about Pretoria "seizing land from white farmers."
His tweet late Wednesday ET about South African land reform prompted a sharp response from the government.
He included the handle of Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson in his tweet. Carlson had discussed the issue on his show Wednesday, introducing the segment by saying, "South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has just begun the process of seizing land from his own citizens, without compensation, because they're the wrong skin color. That is literally the definition of racism."
Carlson then went on to criticize "elites" that criticize Trump for racism while "paying no attention" to the "racist government of South Africa." The segment seems to have prompted Trump to instruct Pompeo to look into the matter.
Tweet I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. "South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers." @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
Trump's comment on South Africa is the first time he has used the word "Africa" on the social media platform since becoming president.