President Donald Trump attended the NCAA championship football game in Atlanta on Monday night, and — as usual — he got a lot of people talking. Before the game even started, Trump sparked a mini controversy when he appeared to fumble his way through the national anthem, leading people to question whether or not he even knows the lyrics. The video of Trump singing the national anthem will help you decide for yourself.
When he first took to the field for "The Star-Spangled Banner," Trump was greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos from the crowd. As the anthem began to play, Trump put his hand over his heart and started to sing along — only, Twitter noticed something was off. It's unclear if Trump actually forgot the lyrics to our nation's anthem, or if he simply didn't feel like singing all of them, but it's obvious in the clips from that night that he skimmed over a few lines.
Just before the game, Trump had said how important it is to respect our national anthem. In the video, he can be seen mouthing some of the words, and then pausing through other portions of the song. He did sing some of the most important parts, belting out "bright stars" and "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
The fact that Trump has been so vocal about respecting the anthem is causing people to be hyper critical of his knowledge of the song. He's repeatedly attacked NFL players for protesting the national anthem to draw attention to police brutality and racial injustice in America.
"Donald Trump doesn’t even know the words to the Star Spangled Banner but, kneeling players are Unpatriotic??" tweeted @CyrusMMcQueen.
"Not knowing the words to the national anthem is more disrespectful than kneeling during the national anthem," @JamesMelville added. He also called it "Donald Trump's John Redwood moment," referencing a British conservative politician who once faked his way through the Welsh national anthem.
Others accused Trump of faking his way through the anthem by making up completely alternative lyrics. "It looked like Donald Trump just kept repeating 'applesauce' during the National Anthem," wrote @tonyposnanski. "Donald Trump thinks the words to the national anthem are 'something... something... wuh... [silence]... gleaming,'" @PalmerReport tweeted. "I don't ever want to hear him talking about others disrespecting the anthem again."
Everyone is giving Trump an especially hard time with this flub because the Saturday before the game he tweeted that one of his "greatest assets" is "being, like, really smart." After Trump messed up some of the words, @CaptainsLog2O18 tweeted, "Let's be honest[.] Donald Trump didn't forget the National Anthem[.] He just never cared to learn it, like a lot of other things in life[.]"
Some people aren't worried about Trump missing some lyrics, as they feel there are more important issues to focus on. As @DavidYankovich tweeted:
The fact that Donald Trump doesn't even know words to the National Anthem doesn't bother me. What bothers me is he doesn't know the words in the United States Constitution.
The official Twitter account for the GOP seems to be one of the only accounts that posted a clip of Trump nailing every lyric, but it was the last few seconds of the song. Some people saw Trump attending the game and singing the anthem as a political move to further squash the conversation around racial inequality in America.
Meanwhile, in the stadium, one Alabama player had a message for Trump that was, well, not safe for work.
Maybe Trump was genuinely having a hard time hearing the anthem, or maybe he had a mental lapse and couldn't recall the lyrics. Or maybe he never knew them at all. But next time he attends a game, he might want to practice in the car on the way there.