U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Donald Trump says Washington Post should fire reporter Dave Weigel

Incident Details

Trump tweet about Dave Weigel
December 9, 2017

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.

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.

“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.”

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