WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump was greeted with boos and chants of “Lock him up!” when he appeared on screen at the World Series in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, even as he celebrated one of the biggest wins of his administration.
Videos of the moment quickly went viral on social media, dividing commenters.
Trump appeared on a display screen at the Washington Nationals Park stadium between innings of the Game 5 match-up between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.
The president, along with First Lady Melania Trump and several lawmakers, appeared live on the screen as part of a video package thanking U.S. troops for their service.
The hometown crowd cheered fans and soldiers displayed earlier on the screen, but there were boos and scattered “Lock him up” chants when Trump appeared, according to a Reuters reporter in attendance and videos posted on Twitter.
Trump’s critics on Twitter celebrated the stadium’s reaction as a sign of his unpopularity. They noted that frosty reception came on a day when Trump had announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria.
A number of liberal commentators and news outlets zoomed in on what they took to be a pained expression on Trump’s face.
One D.C. consultant said of the moment, “This isn’t just enjoyable, it’s important” because it supposedly sent a message to Trump and House Democrats, who have launched an impeachment inquiry into the president.
This isn't just enjoyable, it's important. Trump rarely leaves his bubble of admirers and his team protects him from dissent. Everyone at the ballpark tonight told him that Nancy Pelosi does not stand alone when she stands up to him. THIS is what #goodtrouble looks like. https://t.co/Lw8HTqZijh
— Moira Whelan (@moira) October 28, 2019
However, some conservative Twitter users said it was those booing — at the stadium and online — who should be embarrassed by the incident.
“(This makes you and them look worse than it makes Trump look),” tweeted Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy.
(This makes you and them look worse than it makes Trump look) https://t.co/lc6u2uK8iU
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) October 28, 2019
Others called Nationals fan part of the D.C. “swamp.”
Allah Pundit opined that “Trump should treat [their boos] as a badge of honor.”
Literally all Nats fans are lobbyists, journalists, or lawyers, so Trump should treat it as a badge of honor https://t.co/u1c9Pn5TeB
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) October 28, 2019
One supporter of the president said the video was a “free campaign ad for 4 more yrs of Trump.”
Washington, D.C. makes free campaign ad for 4 more yrs of Trump by booing POTUS at the Nats World Series game the day US forces take out ISIS leader. https://t.co/ynABUZUvfK
— J.E. Dyer (@OptimisticCon) October 28, 2019
Even such full-throated Trump critics as the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” came out against the anti-Trump chants, calling the them “un-American.”
Trump won just 4 percent of the vote in the District of Columbia on his way to winning the 2016 presidential election. The U.S. capital is hosting its first World Series since 1933.
Trump did not throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game, as many previous presidents have done. That task fell instead to celebrity chef Jose Andres, who founded a non-profit group to feed disaster victims around the world.
Andres also canceled plans to run a restaurant in Trump’s Washington hotel because of Trump’s disparaging comments about Mexicans, which led to a legal settlement.
As some Trump defenders were quick to note, the Astros went on to beat the Nationals 7-1.
Maybe should have booed their team louder than they booed the president. https://t.co/1npS1rrXxk
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) October 28, 2019
The Astros now return to Houston with an advantage of three games to two in the best of seven series. Game 6 is on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Pete Schroeder, Nandita Bose and Pluralist.)