Trump Wants Washington Post Reporter Fired Over Misleading Tweet

President Trump on Saturday called for a Washington Post reporter to be fired over a misleading tweet about the size of the crowd at a rally for the president on Friday in Pensacola, Fla.

The reporter, Dave Weigel, posted a picture of an arena with many empty seats. He deleted the tweet after learning that the venue had not yet filled up.

On Saturday night, the president posted a screenshot of Mr. Weigel’s tweet and other photos that showed a crowded arena. “Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!” he wrote.

In response, Mr. Weigel apologized.

About an hour later, the president wrote that Mr. Weigel “just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?),” adding, “He should be fired.”

Contacted on Sunday, Mr. Weigel referred questions to a Washington Post spokeswoman, Kristine Coratti Kelly.

She said in a statement: “Dave Weigel relied on an inaccurate image in tweeting about President Trump’s rally in Pensacola. When others pointed out the mistake to Weigel, he quickly deleted the tweet. And when he was later addressed by the president on Twitter, he promptly apologized for it.”

Mr. Trump’s broadside was his latest attempt to discredit the news media as biased against him, an effort that has accelerated after several recent mistakes by news organizations and individual journalists.

Brian Ross, the chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, was suspended this month for four weeks without pay after incorrectly reporting that Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, would testify that Mr. Trump had directed him to make contact with Russian officials while Mr. Trump was still a candidate.

At the rally on Friday, Mr. Trump called Mr. Ross a “fraudster” and noted that the stock market had fallen after the inaccurate report. “You know what he cost people?” the president said. “And I said to everybody, ‘Get yourself a lawyer and sue ABC News.’”

Also on Friday, CNN corrected an erroneous report that Donald Trump Jr. had received advance notice from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks about a trove of hacked documents that it planned to release during last year’s presidential campaign.

In fact, the email to Mr. Trump was sent a day after the documents, stolen from the Democratic National Committee, were made available to the general public. The correction undercut the main thrust of CNN’s report, which had been seized on by critics of the president.

On Saturday morning, before the posts about Mr. Weigel and the rally photo, President Trump pounced on the CNN correction, tweeting, “Fake News CNN made a vicious and purposeful mistake yesterday.”

He continued: “CNN’S slogan is CNN, THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. Everyone knows this is not true, that this could, in fact, be a fraud on the American Public.”

Content originally published on https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/us/politics/trump-dave-weigel.html by ZACH JOHNK