WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump sent an email Monday praising Vice President Mike Pence for walking out of an NFL game — and seeking donations in the wake of the national anthem controversy.
“Yesterday members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during our National Anthem,” a fundraising email sent out on Monday reads.
“Their stunt showed the world that they don’t believe our flag is worth standing for. But your Vice President REFUSED to dignify their disrespect for our anthem, our flag, and the many brave soldiers who have died for their freedoms.”
In the email, which had the subject line, “VP under fire for standing for” the U.S. flag, Trump said he was “so proud of the vice president” for his early departure from the game Sunday after some players knelt during the national anthem.
“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a statement posted on Twitter.
While Trump characterized Pence as being under fire for standing for the anthem, in reality, Pence was criticized for the price tag of the trip to Indianapolis that amounted to little more than a photo-op.
It cost more than $240,000 when Pence crisscrossed the country to attend the game.
Now the Trump team is offering to send supporters an “I STAND FOR THE FLAG” sticker in exchange for contributions of at least $5 to the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee.”
Trump said in a tweet Sunday that he had asked Pence to leave the stadium if players knelt.
The president’s attacks against the NFL picked up steam after he slammed players who kneel in peaceful protest while campaigning for Luther Strange in Alabama.
After his comments, more players and teams chose to kneel during the anthem.
Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the 49ers, started the anthem protests in opposition to police brutality, particularly toward blacks.