The Washington Post reporter whom President Trump wants fired for a misleading tweet about a recent Trump rally resigned from the newspaper years ago for disparaging Republicans in a string of emails.
The reporter, Dave Weigel, was hired by the Post in 2010 to blog about conservatives and resigned three months later, the paper reported at the time. Weigel’s resignation came after he posted personal, caustic emails on an off-the-record listserv about Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul, conservative syndicated radio personality Rush Limbaugh and others.
Among the leaked comments on the “Journolist” listserv was that Paul, elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave, was part of the “Paultard Tea Party.”
Weigel apologized for the comment, and offered his resignation, which was accepted by then-Managing Editor Raju Narisetti, according to the Post. Weigel was rehired in 2015.
Weigel has also apologized for what the called the “bad tweet” he sent Friday night — a picture of the crowd before Trump began his rally in Pensacola, Fla. He tweeted the photo of a half-empty arena to mock Trump for saying the rally was “packed to the rafters.”
“It was a bad tweet on my personal account, not a story for Washington Post. I deleted it after like 20 minutes. Very fair to call me out,” Weigel tweeted after being criticized about the now-deleted Twitter post.
However, his mea culpa is not enough for Trump, who wants Weigel fired, in the president’s efforts to expose what he considers unfair reporting by the mainstream media.
Trump tweeted twice Saturday on the matter.
“@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo!” the president tweeted.
He followed by tweeting: “.@daveweigel of the Washington Post just admitted that his picture was a FAKE (fraud?) showing an almost empty arena last night for my speech in Pensacola when, in fact, he knew the arena was packed (as shown also on T.V.). FAKE NEWS, he should be fired.”
Weigel declined Sunday morning to comment about his 2010 resignation and referred the request to the paper’s public relations department, which has yet to respond.
However, the paper issued a response Sunday about Weigel’s tweet last week:
“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,” Kris Coratti, a vice president of communications for the paper, said in a statement to Fox News.
Other reported posts by Weigel in 2010 include him writing that Matt Drudge should “handle his emotional problems more responsibly and set himself on fire.”
Limbaugh had called for then-President Barack Obama to fail. And when Limbaugh was hospitalized with chest pains, Weigel wrote, “I hope he fails,” according to The Daily Caller.
Journolist was started in 2007 by Ezra Klein, who was a liberal-leaning blogger for The Post.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The story has been corrected to indicate that Weigel disparaged Republicans on an email listserv, not social media.