Trump fundraising off Pence's NFL walkout

Trump fundraising off Pence's NFL walkout
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President Trump is fundraising off of Vice President Pence's dramatic walkout from an Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday, when several San Francisco 49ers kneeled during "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

"Yesterday members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during our National Anthem. Their stunt showed the world that they don’t believe our flag is worth standing for," the president said Monday in an email from the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.

"But your Vice President REFUSED to dignify their disrespect for our anthem, our flag, and the many brave soldiers who have died for their freedoms," Trump said, calling for campaign donations to support the move.

Trump then slammed the "Fake News Media" for "relentlessly" attacking Pence for showing "patriotism" in his decision to leave the game.

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In a statement Sunday, Pence said he left the game because "President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."

During the game, it appeared that over a dozen players of the San Francisco 49ers kneeled for the national anthem.

Pundits and sports personalities have called Pence's move a "political stunt," suggesting he planned to walk out before ever setting foot in the stadium. 

CNN reported Monday that the vice president's travel to and from the game he briefly attended cost taxpayers more than $200,000.

Trump tweeted Sunday that Pence left the game at his suggestion:

Pence's walkout is the latest escalation in the drama revolving around NFL players who refuse to stand before a game gets underway. The president has repeatedly attacked those participating in the protest. 

Trump took aim at NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick last month during a rowdy rally in Alabama, in which he called on NFL owners to fire any players engaging in such protests.

The remarks, however, inspired many more players to kneel or link arms during the the national anthem to protest Trump's attacks.

Trump, in the email, said the media will lose "this fight, because we have the AMERICAN PEOPLE standing on our side."

The fundraising email came the same afternoon that ESPN announced it has suspended host Jemele Hill, who famously called Trump a “white supremacist” and a “bigot” last month, for suggesting a boycott of Dallas Cowboys advertisers after owner Jerry Jones threatened to bench any players who kneel for the anthem.