On Dec. 9, 2017, President Trump tweeted that Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel "should be fired" for tweeting a misleading photo of a Trump rally in Florida.
.@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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
The controversy began on the morning of Dec. 9, when Trump thanked his supporters for attending a rally the previous night in Pensacola, Florida. Trump tweeted that the "arena was packed to the rafters."
Weigel then tweeted a screenshot of the president's tweet, alongside photos showing a largely empty arena, implying that the president had exaggerated the size of the crowd at the Pensacola rally.
The photos were misleading, though, having been taken before the president's speech began. Trump later tweeted photos of the speech, taken during his speech, that showed a much larger crowd in the arena.
Weigel deleted the tweet once he realized his mistake, and he later apologized for the misleading tweet.
GREAT EVENING last night in Pensacola, Florida. Arena was packed to the rafters, the crowd was loud, loving and really smart. They definitely get what’s going on. Thank you Pensacola!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
.@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost 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. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo! pic.twitter.com/XAblFGh1ob— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
"Dave Weigel relied on an inaccurate image in tweeting about President Trump’s rally in Pensacola,” the Washington Post's V.P. of communications 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.”