Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg did not snub President Donald Trump at the team’s White House reception on Monday, and the World Series MVP issued his first tweet in over a year to deny the accusation.
‘#FakeNews,’ Strasburg responded to a Twitter user who posted misleading footage of the 31-year-old All-Star ending his speech and apparently ignoring Trump’s attempt at a handshake.
The Twitter user claimed Strasburg ‘left Trump hanging.’
However, a wider angle of the scene clearly shows Strasburg turning around to hug manager Dave Martinez, who was standing behind the pitcher’s left shoulder, and innocently failing to see Trump’s extended hand.
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The misleading tweet contained a tighter shot that focused only on Strasburg and the President – Martinez was almost not visible.
That video, which was retweeted over 7,000 times, was also cut short and neglected to show the handshakes Strasburg shared with the First Lady Melania and President Trump only seconds later.
Strasburg has not offered any further comment, but the longer, wider-angle footage definitively shows that he did not snub Trump.
The National League wins leader this past season, Strasburg has just opted out of the final four years and $100 million of his contract with the team. In response to his looming free agency, onlookers jokingly shouted ‘Four More Years!’ as he left the podium.
Outside of relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, who cited Trump’s divisive rhetoric as his reason for not attending, the Nationals players were very flattering towards the President.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki wore a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, eliciting a hug from Trump, while veteran infielder Ryan Zimmerman thanked the President for ‘continuing to make America the greatest country to live in the world.’
Trump had been largely booed while attending Game 5 of the World Series in Washington D.C., where he garnered just 4.1 percent of the vote in 2016.
He plans to attend the biggest regular season college football game of the year when second-ranked Alabama hosts top-ranked Louisiana State on Saturday, according to Sports Illustrated.