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Trump criticizes ESPN for not showing national anthem

Donald Trump Holds Rally In Charleston, West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV - AUGUST 21: President Donald Trump speaks a rally at the Charleston Civic Center on August 21, 2018 in Charleston, West Virginia. Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for Trump and a longtime political operative, was found guilty in a Washington court today of not paying taxes on more than $16 million in income and lying to banks where he was seeking loans. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Hours after his longtime lawyer pleaded guilty to making an illegal payoff to a porn star, President Trump tried to change the subject by going back to one of his favorite topics: The national anthem played before NFL games.

Trump said at a rally in West Virginia that he was outraged to learn ESPN has decided not to show the national anthem before Monday Night Football games this season.

“You’re proud of our country, you’re proud of our history, and unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag,” Trump said. “It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that.”

ESPN said its research indicated that viewers aren’t interested in watching the anthem, although the network also said it could change its mind and show the anthem if there’s viewer demand for it.