It was the fist-pump heard ’round the media. And according to one National Guardsman who was present at the ceremony, how the press is reporting it is flat-out wrong.
On Tuesday, when President Trump visited a memorial service for the victims of United Airlines Flight 93, honoring the men and women who stopped terrorists from using a hijacked 757 to hit another undisclosed target on Sept. 11, 2001, he gave a double fist-pump as he got off Air Force One.
Cue predictable meltdown — even from across the pond.
“Donald Trump has sparked fresh controversy by greeting supporters with a double fist-pump gesture while arriving in Pennsylvania ahead of a memorial service for the September 11th attacks,” the U.K Independent reported.
“The picture was shared by reporters instantly, quickly going viral across social media as the president’s critics condemned his conduct.”
Perhaps a Trump whisperer can explain how Mr. Trump's double fist pump as he arrives in Pennsylvania for a 9/11 Memorial Service for the victims of United Airlines Flight 93 is remotely respectful or patriotic on this 17th anniversary of September 11.https://t.co/slUaF6LbwS pic.twitter.com/PiJz7pkk1K
— Blue Beach Song™ (@BlueBeachSong) September 11, 2018
Trump gave a double fist pump at a 9/11 memorial explaining why he wasn’t invited to McCain’s funeral.
— Alan Spencer (@MrAlanSpencer) September 11, 2018
Today we get a fist pump because Trump thinks ppl are there for him. What a rabbit hole we have gone down. Anyone that thinks this gesture doesn’t show exactly who trump really is , think again
— Yiayia (@YiayiaEmsyiayia) September 11, 2018
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) September 11, 2018
A National Guardsman, however, told a different story to The Daily Caller about what the fist pump was about.
“The POTUS landed at our Johnstown flight facility, a military installation owned by the Reserves and the National Guard, and, well, prior to his arrival, we were allowed to gather in this designated area to greet him prior to his boarding a helicopter and flying to the Flight 93 memorial service,” wrote the anonymous guardsman in a letter.
“As he approached us soldiers, marines, and airmen, many were shouting and waving at him. That is when he did the ‘double fist pump’ — he was genuinely happy to say hello and shake hands, and you could tell he was proud to be greeted by ‘his’ military members.”
“I am telling you this because not even an hour later, the press was criticizing him for doing that on hallowed ground, and he should have been more respectful of the heroes of Flight 93,” the account continues.
“Well, I got to see FIRSThand how biased the liberal media is towards him. They took a photo completely twisted it around to make him look bad, and it was nowhere near the truth. And our past president has the nerve to also criticize the POTUS for shunning the media. I wonder why he does. So, that is the truth of what really happened, not the story the media produced or the haters of our president.”
That account, if true, appears in almost none of the stories about the “double fist-pump” that I’ve seen.
I don’t have time to scan every identical piece of Trump-related propaganda out there, so maybe it’s true someone decided to tell this side of the story somewhere. I somehow doubt it, however.
Again, we can’t vet this. We can only assume The Daily Caller did its due diligence in fact-checking what they could.
If this is veracious, however, it would go a long way to explaining the odd gesture as being not-so-odd — and it would be something nearly every reporter present should have been able to grasp.
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