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Trump attacks reporter over already-deleted crowd size tweet

12 December 2017

Attendance at the Pensacola rally became an issue after Trump called out Weigel, the Washington Post reporter, for his tweet, and the dispute surfaced again at the White House press briefing on Monday afternoon.

Dave Weigel, who writes about politics for the Washington Post, put up this picture on Saturday. "Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?"

But the president wasn't satisfied with Weigel's apology.

The reporter's latest misadventure drew the full wrath of the president, who has been notably touchy about crowd sizes at his events ever since the inauguration.

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"Trump's public response: ".@daveweigel of the Washington Post just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?) showing an nearly empty arena last night for my speech in Pensacola when, in fact, he knew the arena was packed (as shown also on T.V.).

The reporter, Dave Weigel, had posted a photo of a near-empty stadium with the caption "Packed to the rafters", inaccurately suggesting it was taken during Trump's Florida rally on Friday. "Real photos now shown as a I spoke".

But that didn't satisfy the president, who called Weigel's original tweet "FAKE NEWS" and said, "he should be fired".

Weigel responded minutes later, saying he'd been notified of the error by DailyMail.com's U.S. political editor, David Martosko, who attended the event. So in that context, Weigel's tweet fit perfectly into Trumpworld's perpetual, newly invigorated narrative that the media is out to get the president and pushing out false stories to do so. I deleted the photo after @dmartosko [the Daily Mail's David Martosko] told me I'd gotten it wrong. "Was confused by the image of you walking in the bottom right corner", Weigel tweeted.

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Contacted Sunday, Weigel referred questions to a Washington Post spokeswoman, Kristine Coratti Kelly. I deleted it after like 20 minutes. "Very fair to call me out", Weigel later tweeted. Trump launched a predictable attack on CNN over that story on Saturday morning, and had called out another big retracted story from ABC News at his rally on Friday night.

CNN corrected a report this week that Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump organization received an email offering a decryption key and website addressed for hacked WikiLeaks documents - after the outlet reported the date of the email as September 14th rather than the 4th.

The corrections came from stories that initially had been damaging to the president but didn't live up to the scrutiny.

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Trump attacks reporter over already-deleted crowd size tweet