Trump goes after WaPo reporter for misleading tweet

Trump goes after WaPo reporter for misleading tweet
© Getty

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMia Love pulls ahead in Utah race as judge dismisses her lawsuit Trump administration denies exploring extradition of Erdoğan foe for Turkey Trump congratulates Kemp, says Abrams will have 'terrific political future' MORE blasted a Washington Post reporter on Saturday, accusing him of posting a misleading photo showing a mostly-empty venue ahead of the president's Friday rally in Pensacola, Fla.

"@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," Trump tweeted. "Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!"

ADVERTISEMENT

Dave Weigel, a political reporter for the Post, responded to the president's tweet within minutes, pointing out that David Martosko, the Daily Mail's U.S. politics editor, had told him he had "gotten it wrong" and noting that he had deleted the initial tweet.

He apologized for the mistake.

"Sure thing: I apologize. I deleted the photo after @dmartosko told me I'd gotten it wrong. Was confused by the image of you walking in the bottom right corner," Weigel wrote on Twitter.

Weigel also noted that the initial tweet was posted from his personal Twitter account, rather than an official Washington Post account, adding that it was "very fair to call" him out.

 Trump responded to Weigel's apology by calling for his firing.

".@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," Trump tweeted.

Trump's tweet targeting Weigel was his most recent in a string of Twitter attacks on news organizations and reporters on Saturday. 

Earlier in the day, he hit ABC News reporter Brian Ross for an erroneous report aired last week claiming that Trump had instructed Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser, to make contact with Russians before the 2016 election.

After receiving widespread criticism, ABC News issued a "clarification" for that report, saying that Flynn was not directed to make contact until after the election. The network later issued a full "correction," and Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay.

Also on Saturday, Trump turned his ire to CNN, accusing the network of making a "vicious and purposeful mistake" in a report published Friday. That report said that the Trump campaign had been given early access to hacked WikiLeaks documents on Sept. 4, 2016.

The network later issued a correction to that report, noting that the campaign was given access to the documents on Sept. 14, after WikiLeaks had made the documents public.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.