Washington Post reporter apologizes to Trump over crowd tweet as president demands firing

Washington Post reporter apologizes to Trump over crowd tweet as president demands firing
Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel has apologized for tweeting a photograph of an empty auditorium taken before Donald Trump’s rally in Pensacola, Florida Friday. The president responded by calling for Weigel to be fired.

Weigel shared a photo of Trump’s rally taken before it had started, tweeting, “packed to the rafters,” in an apparent taunt aimed at the president Saturday. He posted the tweet in response to one of Trump’s own tweets, in which the president said the “arena was packed to the rafters, the crowd was loud, loving and really smart.”

Of course, Trump being Trump, he tweeted about Weigel’s tweet, tagging both the journalist and the Washington Post and demanding an apology from “FAKE NEWS WaPo!”

Weigel responded with an apology, and explained he “was confused by the image of you [Trump] walking in the bottom right corner,” and that he deleted it as soon as he was informed of the mistake.

He further explained his tweet in an exchange with another user, writing, “It was a bad tweet on my personal account, not a story for Washington Post. I deleted it after like 20 minutes. Very fair to call me out.”

And call him out Trump did. He later tweeted “@daveweigel of the Washington Post just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?) showing an almost empty arena last night for my speech in Pensacola when, in fact, he knew the arena was packed (as shown also on T.V.). FAKE NEWS, he should be fired.”

“Dave Weigel relied on an inaccurate image in tweeting about President Trump’s rally in Pensacola,” The Washington Post said in a statement. "When others pointed out the mistake to Weigel, he quickly deleted the tweet. And when he was later addressed by the president on Twitter, he promptly apologized for it.”

Weigel formerly resigned from the Post in 2010, after leaked online messages showed him disparaging Republicans and commentators. He was rehired in 2015.  

Trump regularly tweets against the mainstream media for their inaccurate reporting. Earlier Saturday, he directed posts at ABC and CNN for their erroneous reporting on the Russian investigation this week. He has also called on other journalists to be fired, such as ESPN host Jemele Hill.