During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, President Trump sat and babbled through a flag-lowering ceremony at Pennsylvania Air National Guard base. As Trump talked, loudspeakers began playing “Retreat,” a military tune that’s played nightly at military bases as the flag is lowered at the end of the day.
According to the military site Task and Purpose, uniformed service members are required to stop what they’re doing and salute the flag as it’s being lowered. Civilians are required to place their hand over their heart.
But as the Washington Examiner points out, Trump joked that it was being played for either him or Hannity.
“What a lovely sound that is,” Trump said. “Are they playing that for you or for me? They’re playing that in honor of [Hannity’s] ratings. He’s beating everybody.”
From the Washington Examiner:
Trump’s ignorance of an American military tradition comes after weeks of railing against NFL players for “disrespecting the flag” for kneeling during the national anthem. The kneeling players are protesting racism and police brutality by taking a knee during the anthem played before games.
Trump last tweeted about the anthem protests Wednesday, demanding NFL players “RESPECT OUR COUNTRY.”
In fairness to Trump, the audience, which seemed padded with supporters, didn’t acknowledge the ceremony either.
As Snopes.com points out, some left-leaning websites claimed Trump “violated protocol” during the ceremony because he did not stand and continued to talk as the song was playing, but that’s somewhat of a false narrative.
Donald Trump does not appear to have violated protocol during the ceremony. We spoke to an Army National Guard spokesperson, who told us that there is “no expectation” relating to decorum for civilians or armed services members who are indoors during the Retreat ceremony, in any branch of the military. The President was in an airport hangar during the interview.
While Trump’s joke that “Retreat” was being played in honor of Sean Hannity’s television ratings could be considered disrespectful by some, he did not violate protocol by failing to stand or face the flag during the ceremony.
Watch the video below:
[This post has been updated] Featured image via screen grab