President Donald Trump attended the College Football National Championship in Atlanta on Monday night, a city he once said was “falling apart” and “crime infested,” but the president drew mockery on social media for a more surprising reason.
Trump walked onto the field to a mixed reaction of cheers and boos just before the national anthem. Standing among several members of the armed forces, Trump placed his hand over his heart and seemed to be singing along, or at least lip-synching.
But as many on Twitter noted, Trump didn’t appear to know the words to the national anthem, skipping lines or words here and there before beginning to move his mouth again.
Take a look:
WATCH: President Trump attends national championship game between the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama. pic.twitter.com/mQVe1SGlCg
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 9, 2018
Plenty of people took notice and expressed their shock on social media:
Trump literally does not know the words to the National Anthem. Did anyone else see that just now? Oh my god…#NationalChampionship
— Charlotte Clymer????️???? (@cmclymer) January 9, 2018
I just witnessed Donald trump get booed by the crowd and then fail to know the words to the US national anthem. Elite moment.
— Luther Landross (@LachlanJHalll) January 9, 2018
It looked like Donald Trump just kept repeating “applesauce” during the National Anthem. #NationalChampionship
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) January 9, 2018
Oh my god. He was mouthing the wrong words. Trump doesn’t know the national anthem ???
— William “stable genius” LeGate ? (@williamlegate) January 9, 2018
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) January 9, 2018
Trump was mouthing some words during parts of the national anthem, but it was unclear what he was saying. He didn't open mouth during other parts.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 9, 2018
Trump’s next speech should be him having to recite all the words to the National Anthem without a TelePrompTer. He has no clue. #NationalChampionship
— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) January 9, 2018
Trump knew he was going to the #NationalChampionship.
Trump knew they'd play the National Anthem.
Trump knew the cameras would be on him.
And Trump didn't even bother to learn the words; instead he mouthed gobblygook.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) January 9, 2018
Just fell out of my chair and kept rolling for several yards upon being presented with evidence that Trump may not have his beloved National Anthem memorized
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) January 9, 2018
Did anyone notice that Donald trump barely knew the words to the national anthem?????
— Chris French (@christhebeast35) January 9, 2018
This isn’t the first time Trump has been accused of not knowing the nation’s anthem either. Back in May, Trump also skipped out on some of the lines, only to come back in again later. And there was the time his wife had to remind him to salute the flag during the anthem.
Trump’s apparent lack of knowledge when it comes to the lyrics to the national anthem are surprising, considering earlier in the day he told the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention, “We want our flag respected,” and “We want our national anthem respected also.”
Trump gets huge applause and chants after he says that “We want our flag respected. We want our national anthem respected also.” pic.twitter.com/sba6hiyfrV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 8, 2018
Trump was referring to the NFL players and black athletes who have taken a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S. — a movement that began last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Trump said that a player who kneels during the anthem is a “son of a bitch.”
But the players themselves, as well as the league, have said they do not mean any disrespect to the flag or the anthem by kneeling.