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Raftergate: President Donald Trump Gets Apology From WaPo Reporter, Still Wants Him Fired – Update

UPDATE, with additional responses Donald Trump isn’t satisfied with a Washington Post reporter’s apology over the now-viral rafter tweet, and says Dave Weigel should be fired. The president claims that Weigel knew the Pensacola venue was “packed” when the reporter retweeted a photo of a sparse crowd, a claim not supported by Weigel’s explanation. (See the tweets below)

Previous, 3:03 pm A Washington Post reporter – and much of the internet – was skeptical of Donald Trump’s “packed to the rafters” crowd size boast from Florida last night, but the president might get the last laugh this time around. Not to mention more grist for his “Fake News” mill.

WaPo reporter Dave Weigel has apologized to Trump, via twitter, for retweeting a much-shared photo of a much-empty Pensacola Bay Center. Trump appeared at the venue Friday to urge Alabama voters to “get out and vote” for Senatorial candidate (and alleged minor-molester) Roy Moore.

After the rally, Trump tweeted a “Thank You Pensacola!” message, noting that the arena “was packed to the rafters.”

In a replay of his inauguration crowd-size debacle, a photo of a not-packed arena hit the internet. The photo, though, apparently was taken earlier in the evening, before Trump’s speech.

Just after 5 pm ET today, Trump tweeted, “@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!”

Weigel deleted the photo and apologized (“Sure thing,” he tweeted to Trump. “I apologize”) before pointing out that the “bad tweet” on his personal account was “not a story for Washington Post.” Trump has not acknowledged his own error.

But wait. Was the empty-venue photo really taken “hours before” Trump arrived, as the president said? As Weigel (and others) have pointed out, the image seems to show Trump at the venue at the time (lower right hand corner of the photo). That image, too, has been making the internet rounds, ensuring that Raftergate might continue to distract some from Trump’s endorsement of alleged mall troll Moore for at least a little bit longer.

Here are the tweets, from the beginning:

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

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.

Everything I say on Twitter is a joke, except what I say about @swin24. https://t.co/tI7SQnpoN9

— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 9, 2017

.@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

Weigel, clearly making the best of a high-profile situation, used his newfound spotlight for some product plugging second only to Donald Trump Jr.’s earlier tweet today shilling for Trump Store stocking stuffers. This tweet from Weigel sat atop the reporter’s Twitter page tonight:

Some other folks have also weighed in:

He made a mistake, retracted & apologized. Just because you never admit your mistakes & lies doesn’t mean they’re not happening. https://t.co/WCK70xAqz3

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) December 9, 2017

So by that logic… YOU should be fired too!

— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) December 10, 2017

What a sad, puny man the president is

— John Legend (@johnlegend) December 9, 2017

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