United States & Canada
Donald Trump booed at World Series baseball game as crowd chants: ‘Lock him up’
• White House has gone out of the way to shield president from protests and demonstrators in the past
• Officials thought Trump’s earlier announcement about death of Isis leader Baghdadi might temper some of the heckling by liberal Washington crowd
, 29 Oct, 2019
US President Donald Trump (centre), first lady Melania Trump and Republican lawmakers react as the stadium boos when the president is shown on the jumbo screen at the World Series game at Nationals Park in Washington on Sunday. Photo: AP
The boos were loud. And for US President
, they may have felt unfamiliar.
Trump was showered with jeers, boos and chants (as well as some cheers) when he attended a World Series game at Nationals Park in Washington on Sunday night. It was a rare moment of in-your-face disapproval for a president whose White House goes out of the way to shield him from protests and demonstrators.
Since taking office, Trump has rarely ventured out to places in the deeply Democratic city or elsewhere that might feature high-volume hostility or a cold shoulder.
When the boos began as Trump’s image flashed on the ballpark’s giant video screen, the president seemed momentarily taken aback.
Here’s the exact moment Trump realized he was getting booed by the entire crowd at the World Series. #TrumpBooed
He mouthed something to his wife, Melania Trump, while gamely trying to clap along. But his smile froze and then faded as the boos continued and some in the crowd launched into a brief chant of “Lock him up”, a version of the phrase
chanted against Hillary Clinton
at dozens of Trump rallies during the 2016 campaign and at the Republican National Convention.
White House officials tried to play down the negative feedback, which erupted when Trump’s image
“I know that there were some people cheering as well. But, listen, it’s Washington, DC. It’s a pretty liberal town,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Monday.
Though White House officials were prepared for jeers in a ballpark located in a city where only 4 per cent of residents voted for Trump, some thought that president’s announcement hours earlier about the death of
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
might temper some of the boos. That proved not to be the case, despite efforts to limit the heckling.
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The presidential motorcade pulled into Nationals Park a little after 8pm, allowing the president to slip inside the stadium while fans were focused on the start of the game and the ceremonial first pitch thrown by restaurateur and humanitarian Jose Andres, a noted Trump critic.
Trump took his seat in a luxury box with a sea of friendly faces, including Republican legislators.
It was Trump’s first baseball game since taking office and he attracted little attention from the crowd for the first few innings.
But at the end of third inning, as part of a salute to veterans, the Nationals honoured some service members sitting near the president. Loud applause rang out until the camera panned over to Trump. On a dime, the cheers instantly turned to loud boos. And once the camera moved on to show more veterans, the cheers resumed.
Robert De Niro@RobertDeNiroUS
Full on “LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!” chants heard throughout the crowd at Nats Park after President Trump was announced and shown on screen here #WorldSeries
Allies said the president should embrace the boos.
“I’d wear getting booed in the swamp as a badge of honor,” tweeted his oldest son, Donald Trump Jnr.
Unlike some of his predecessors, Trump has made little effort to join the Washington scene, with the singular exception of his visiting his hotel, a Republican-friendly oasis a few blocks from the White House.
He has not eaten at a Washington restaurant beyond those in the hotel and has passed on attending traditional social events such as the Kennedy Centre Honours and White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
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The White House has, at times, gone to significant lengths to keep Trump away from protesters, sometimes citing security concerns or a reluctance to snarl traffic as reasons to keep Trump away from hostile crowds.
During the presidential transition in late 2016, there was talk of Trump frequently returning to his home in Trump Tower while in office. But those plans were scrapped after it became apparent that Trump would face large, angry crowds in Manhattan.
In London this summer, Trump took repeated helicopter rides of just a few kilometres that kept him away from throngs of demonstrators, including a balloon that depicted the president as a baby.
And on Monday, Trump was shielded from the hundreds of protesters gathered near his speech at a police chiefs’ conference in Chicago and a fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago.
Trump’s motorcade took a route that went nowhere near demonstrators and police kept the protesters blocks away from the conference site.
Similarly, Trump’s motorcade slipped into the docking area of his hotel, while hundreds of protesters gathered just across the Chicago River.
They were visible to hotel guests and condo residents on the south side of the hotel, but it was unclear if Trump had any view of them from his fundraiser.