U.S. President Donald Trump was caught on video fidgeting, pointing and miming like a conductor during the U.S. national anthem ahead of the Super Bowl in what critics say is “disrespectful” and “hypocritical” behaviour from the POTUS.
The video, which was reportedly filmed at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Super Bowl party in Florida on Sunday, shows a room full of people standing for the anthem. Trump and his wife, Melania, can be seen in the centre of the room.
Each person in the room, including Melania, can be seen holding a hand over their heart for the anthem.
But not the president.
Instead, Trump can be seen gesturing and pointing at others in the room. When anthem singer Demi Lovato hits the “rockets’ red glare” line of the song, Trump puts both hands up and twirls them like an orchestral conductor. The president then turns to the side and aggressively points at someone — twice — on the other side of the room.
The clip ends with Trump pulling a chair out and adjusting his jacket to sit down. The anthem is not nearly over at this point.
“For someone who claims to be such a patriot (and who attacked NFL players protesting police brutality), it sure doesn’t seem like @realDonaldTrump has a lot of respect for the National Anthem,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) tweeted on Monday. His tweet included a copy of the video, which he did not record.
The video was originally posted on Sunday in an Instagram story that has since expired, the Miami Herald reports. The video was captured by a real estate agent for a Russian-American firm who frequents Trump properties and events, including the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the Herald reports. The person’s name has not been released.
The video appears to be mirrored by a smartphone camera, as the people in the image are holding their hands over their right breast, not their left. The number four on the table also appears to be flipped.
The football game is visible on multiple TVs in the background, the audio matches Demi Lovato’s performance, and Melania Trump is wearing the same outfit she was seen wearing earlier in the day. Trump is wearing his signature black suit with a red tie.
Trump has attacked NFL players for kneeling during the U.S. national anthem over the years without acknowledging it as a symbolic act of protest against police brutality toward black people.
He told an audience of ardent supporters in 2017 that NFL owners should fire any player who “disrespects” the anthem by kneeling.
“Get that son of a b—- off the field, right now. Out. He’s fired!” Trump said at the time.
Trump has also repeatedly said all Americans should “stand proudly” during the national anthem as a sign of respect for the U.S. military.
Critics responded to the new video by blasting Trump for his fidgety and “hypocritical” behaviour.
“What happened to all Americans standing proudly during the national anthem?” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) tweeted. Jeffries is also one of the House managers presenting the impeachment case against Trump.
“The president has one standard for himself and another for everyone else,” Jeffries wrote. “Apparently for some, it doesn’t matter.”
“Zero decorum, zero respect,” self-described anti-Trump activist Stephanie Kennedy tweeted.
“Hypocrite, thy name is Donald,” Star Trek actor George Takei tweeted.
“This seems to be not standing proudly,” actress Alyssa Milano added.
“He is unfit!” tweeted Fred Guttenberg, a parent of one of the students killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. “He disrespects the flag. He is unpatriotic.”
The video presents a bit of a conundrum for many Trump supporters, who have been attacking Jay-Z and Beyonce for sitting during the anthem at the Super Bowl.
User Eric Derus was one of several people who responded to Lahren with questions about the Trump video.
“Did you see the video of Trump during the national anthem?” he asked. “If you’re going to be fair, where is the Trump critique?”
Trump is expected to hang onto his job as president after the Republican-controlled Senate voted not to hear from any witnesses in his impeachment trial last week.
He is also expected to honour the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs — of the “Great State” of Kansas Missouri — at the White House later this year.