PEN America excoriates President Donald Trump for demanding the dismissal of Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel after Weigel erroneously tweeted a photo and message suggesting that Trump's Pensacola rally was sparsely attended (it was actually full).
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a rally in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. December 8, 2017.
After the rally on Friday, Trump tweeted out saying, "thank you Pensacola!", noting that the arena "was packed to the rafters".
Weigel, who said he deleted the photo after about 20 minutes, wrote, "Sure thing: I apologize". 'I deleted the photo after @dmartosko told me I'd gotten it wrong. "He put up a tweet with a pretty sarcastic comment about where the president was giving his speech, he said "packed to the rafters" and a picture that was taken long before the speech began". Framed as a discussion of "fake news", the segment resulted in Vittert spreading false information.
"Trump wasn't satisfied, tweeting, ".@daveweigel of the Washington Post just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?) showing an nearly empty arena last night for my speech in Pensacola when, in fact, he knew the arena was packed (as shown also on T.V.). Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public.
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Trump, who had earlier boasted about the size and enthusiasm of the crowd, contended that the photo was taken hours before he arrived.
The new information, CNN noted, "indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported". "Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?" he tweeted.
Trump's ABC jab referred to the network's investigative reporter who was suspended for four weeks without pay after he erroneously reported that Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, had been directed to make contact with the Russians. Meanwhile, Twitter comedians are fabricating their own feuds with Trump, which are at least as credible as the actual president's obsession with the crowd sizes.
Among Trump's grievances with the media, he is notably sensitive about crowd size at his events.
"You should have been apologizing for the last two years", Trump added as the audience cheered.