Trump Says NFL Players ‘Have’ to Stand During Anthem: Maybe Those Who Don’t ‘Shouldn’t Be in the Country’


President Donald Trump doled out a rare one-on-one interview to Fox & Friends, airing Thursday morning, and Brian Kilmeade asked for his thoughts on the “breaking news” regarding the NFL’s new policy on kneeling.

The NFL announced on Wednesday that teams will be fined if their players kneel for the national anthem, giving protesting players two options: stay in the locker room until after the anthem, or stand for it on the field.

Kilmeade asked Trump about the news, given the president (and Fox & Friends for that matter) drummed up the issue of standing for the anthem into a front in the culture wars.

“The NFL has made a decision on something that means a lot to you and a lot of other Americans,” Kilmeade asked. “What’s your reaction Mr. President?”

“Well I think that’s good,” Trump said. “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still I think it’s good.”

“You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. And the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”

“If that is the story do you feel like you’ve pushed this forward, and you pushed this to a conclusion?” Kilmeade asked.

“I think the people pushed it forward, this was not me,” Trump said. This country’s very smart, we have very smart people.”

After clip aired, Kilmeade commented, “I think it’s a seven out of ten,” presumably referring to how much credit Trump should be given for forcing the NFL’s new policy?

Either way, if you thought a Trump presidency would consist in him only doing one-on-one interviews with salivating Fox & Friends hosts praising him for turning dumb culture war issues into matters of state, you were right on the money!

Watch above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin