Trump: Pence 'receiving great praise' for leaving Colts game

President Trump early Monday said Vice President Pence is “receiving great praise” for leaving an Indianapolis Colts game after some San Francisco 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

“The trip by @VP Pence was long planned,” the president tweeted. “He is receiving great praise for leaving game after the players showed such disrespect for country!”

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The president’s tweet comes after questions were raised about Pence using government travel to go to the game in Indianapolis on Sunday.

“CAN WE JUST MAKE IT THROUGH A WEEKEND WITHOUT THIS ADMINISTRATION ABUSING TAXPAYER DOLLARS WITH JET TRAVEL!?” watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted Sunday.

An Indianapolis sports columnist also accused Pence of using the game to stage a political stunt and Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE (D-Conn.) called the move a "multi million dollar political stunt paid for by taxpayers.”

Pence left the game Sunday, saying he wouldn't support an event that "disrespects" the country's flag or its soldiers.

"I left today's Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence said in a statement.

"At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us."

Trump on Sunday also praised Pence, saying he was "proud" of the vice president for his actions.

"I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country," Trump tweeted. "I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen."

Trump spurred controversy last month when he attacked NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

Since his comments, many players have kneeled when the national anthem plays before their games.

— This report was updated at 7:23 a.m.