Monday afternoon, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg visited the White House with the majority of his World Series-winning teammates. During this visit, footage was captured of him "snubbing" President Donald Trump during a post-speech handshake attempt. However, Strasburg wants to make it clear that he is innocent.
Monday afternoon, the Nationals' pitcher retweeted footage of him "leaving Trump hanging" in what was his first post since April 2018. "#FakeNews," he wrote, which is a common phrase used by the president in speeches and on social media.
While the initial footage did make it appear that Strasburg had snubbed the president by walking away from his attempted handshake, it didn't tell the entire story. There was actually a longer clip on social media that showed the pitcher shaking Trump's hand after giving a hug to Nationals manager Davey Martinez.
Rudy Gersten, a columnist for the Washington Post, was the one called out with the "#FakeNews" message after his original tweet went viral. There were accusations lobbed his way about selectively editing the footage to create a false storyline. However, he also sent out later tweets that explained how the pitcher had indeed shaken Trump's hand.
“I edited nothing. Stras did, in fact, leave him hanging, it was accidental but funny. I also tweeted them shaking hands and acknowledged immediately in the replies they shook,” Gersten later wrote on Twitter.
Interestingly enough, Gersten was someone that made comments on social media about treating all of the players equally, whether they supported Trump with MAGA hats or avoided any interactions with him by skipping the trip to the White House.
“One request of Nats fans: don’t attack the Nats for going to the White House Monday,” he requested. “For many, a trip there is not about who’s in the Oval Office, it’s about the building & institution. For those like Sean Doolittle who choose not to go, that decision should be respected as well.”
Since posting the video on social media, Gersten has been dealing with a fair amount of backlash for being a "leftist" that hates Trump and alters videos. However, he is a self-admitted conservative Republican and actually tweeted out another video of Strasburg shaking hands with the president.0comments
While Gersten's original intent was to show off a funny and awkward moment, the post on Twitter has taken on a life of its own. Although Strasburg was content with simply writing #FakeNews on social media.
(Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty)