Donald Trump has often said that the free press is the “enemy of the state.” Five journalists who wrote for The Capital Gazette were killed in a mass shooting. Thousands of other journalists receive death threats on a regular basis. The right thing to do would have been to fly the flag at half-staff to honor the fallen victims, but the Donald’s reaction was ugly.
Annapolis, Maryland Mayor Gavin Buckley asked POTUS to lower the American flag to half-staff for the fallen victims, according to the Capital Gazette. In a startling response, he refused, and then things changed.
At first, Trump refused to honor the journalists. His knee-jerk response was negative:
@capitalgazette reported last night that the Mayor’s request had been denied. http://bit.ly/2tZK4mw It was only after their report that the White House moved to approve the request.’
Then, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the administration had to verify the request was legitimate:
‘In a gaggle just now Sanders said POTUS made the decision once he heard that the Annapolis Mayor had made the request “he asked that we reach out and verify that the mayor had made the request.” When we did, the president asked that the flags be lowered immediately.”‘
Suddenly, the press secretary revised history and said that Trump ordered flags lowered “as soon the President heard about the request:”
‘Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells CNN that president Trump will lower flags for the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting: “Last night, as soon as the President heard about the request from the Mayor he ordered the flags to be lowered.” The proclamation will be coming shortly.’
Finally, the Trump administration released an official proclamation to “honor” the journalists killed by the mass shooter:
‘Here is the official proclamation from President Trump ordering flags lowered in honor of the Capital Gazette shooting. White House flags were lowered just a couple of minutes ago.’
Governor Larry Hogan had already ordered the flags lowered over the weekend. Only a governor or the president can make this order. After some consideration and a lot of pressure, the man sitting in the Oval Office finally recapitulated.
Clearly, the commander-in-chief was reluctant, and he has made his disgust with the press painfully clear. The UK’s Marie Clair listed some of Trump’s quotes about the press:
‘Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. ‘
‘Ariana Huffington (Huffington Post) is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.’
‘You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.’
‘Despite the constant negative press covfefe.’
‘(The New York Times) don’t write good. They have people over there, like Maggie Haberman and others, they don’t – they don’t write good. They don’t know how to write good.’
‘Fake news is at an all time high. Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories???’
The Twitter world went wild. Check out some more of our favorite tweets below:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla.