Trump Blasts Washington Post Writer for ‘Fake News’ Tweet, Calls for His Firing

“There’s a difference between journalists making a mistake and correcting it, and actual fake news. Trump and others trying to conflate the two,” tweets one defender of reporter Dave Weigel

Donald Trump
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President Donald Trump called for the firing of Washington Post’s Dave Weigel for posting a picture of a half-empty arena and the caption “packed to the rafters” on his Twitter account on Friday night.

The tweet, which presumably was referencing Trump’s Pensacola, Florida rally, didn’t sit well with the commander-in-chief, who included pictures of the rally to prove it was indeed packed to the rafters. Oh, and he included the patented “fake news” label, of course.

“[Dave Weigel] put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke,” tweeted Trump. “Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retreaction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!”

Weigel responded within three minutes, saying “sure thing: I apologize.” He added he deleted the photo after Daily Mail editor David Martosko had told him he’d “gotten it wrong.”

Weigel followed up soon after, calling it a “bad tweet,” and saying it was “very fair to call me out.”

The apology didn’t satiate President Trump, however. He tweeted an hour later, calling for the Washington Post to fire Weigel.

“[Dave Weigel] 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,” tweeted Trump.

Journalists and commentators jumped to Weigel’s defense, saying, among other things, that Trump’s call for his firing was a “public threat to the First Amendment.”