President Trump’s patriotic event on Tuesday didn’t appear to be very… patriotic. Videos of Trump giving up on signing the national anthem and struggling to remember the words of “God Bless America” quickly made the rounds on social media.
Trump, just now singing the national anthem, missed the words “were so gallant” and then picked up again with “-ly streaming.” pic.twitter.com/gmPGi83ASN
— (((Ian Hest))) (@IanHest) June 5, 2018
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) June 5, 2018
Pres. Trump, though standing, does not sing “God Bless America” word-for-word, nodding along to melody as military chorus sings “through the night with the light from above” https://t.co/SvRFR0SLJu pic.twitter.com/UlBL0NlgoB
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 5, 2018
It’s unclear whether Trump doesn’t know the words to “God Bless America,” or he just gave up on singing, as appeared to be the case with the national anthem.
The initial event was intended to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, but Trump uninvited the team on Monday after learning that only a few team members planned on showing up. In his tweet announcing the cancellation, Trump said, “Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling,” however, ESPN reported that no Eagles players knelt during the 2017 regular season, and there are no known instances of Eagles players remaining in the locker room.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Instead of throwing the annual White House Super Bowl celebration, Trump instead decided to host an event to “celebrate the flag,” according to NBC News. Flags filled the South Lawn of the White House, and musicians from the U.S. Marine Corps performed.
“We love our country. We respect our flag. We always proudly stand for the national anthem,” Trump said at the event. “We stand to honor our military, and to honor our country and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home.”
Two men take a knee during the national anthem at @realdonaldTrump‘s predominately, if not exclusively, white White House ceremony.
If poc were present, they are not reflected in the 2 pics.
Kudos to the 2 unnamed men.
— Maggie Jordan: (@MaggieJordanACN) June 6, 2018
Two people actually took a knee during the national anthem, with one of them yelling at Trump to “stop hiding behind the armed services & the national anthem.”
WATCH: “Stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem!” a heckler yells at President Trump during a White House event that was originally planned to honor the Philadelphia Eagles. The heckler was met with boos. pic.twitter.com/UO2XYFByUQ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 5, 2018
Hours after the event, LeBron James announced that neither his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, nor the Golden State Warriors, would visit the White House after winning the NBA Finals.
“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway,” James told reporters.
“I agree with ‘Bron,” Golden State’s Stephen Curry said later. “I’m pretty sure the way we handled things last year, we’ll stay consistent with that.”
The Warriors won the 2017 finals, but Trump uninvited the team after he discovered they were trying to decide if they wanted to go.
Trump has yet to comment on James’ or Curry’s recent statements.