A reporter for The Washington Post has found himself in the cross-hairs of criticism from President Donald Trump after posting a misleading photo to Twitter that showed a virtually empty arena at the president’s rally in Florida on Friday.
The tweet, which as since been deleted, showed a sparse crowd at the Pensacola Bay Center with a quote from a Trump tweet that said, “Packed to the rafters.”
Weigel’s image gave the appearance that Trump was misleading the public into thinking he drew a large crowd for his speech. However, Weigel’s photo was taken hours before the event began.
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Trump captured an image of the erroneous tweet, then took to Twitter to call-out the deceitful tactic as well as demand an apology from the Post. Trump also defended his statements on the “packed” attendance by providing multiple photos of the seemingly full venue taken during his speech.
Weigel responded to the criticism by issuing an apology to the president.
In a separate tweet, Weigel added that it was “fair” to reveal his error, and that his tweet was for his personal account only, not a story for the Post.
However, the president was unimpressed by Weigel’s apology, adding that the political reporter should be fired for his actions.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Kristine Coratti Kelly, a spokesperson for the Post, released a statement in regards to Weigel’s “inaccurate image.”
“Dave Weigel relied on an inaccurate image in tweeting about President Trump’s rally in Pensacola,” Kelly stated. “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.”
During Friday’s rally in Pensacola, Trump backed Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore.
“We want jobs, jobs, jobs, so get out and vote for Roy Moore,” Trump said, as reported by Newsweek.
Trump also criticized Moore’s opponent, Democratic candidate Doug Jones, citing that the “liberal Democrat” would be “completely controlled” by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer.
“He’s their total puppet and everybody knows it,” Trump stated during his speech.
It wasn’t Trump’s first time criticizing Jones. In November, Trump tweeted that if elected, “Jones would be a disaster.”
According to a Gravis Marketing poll released Saturday, Moore leads Jones by 4 points in the race for the Alabama Senate seat, The Birmingham News reported.