President Donald Trump asserted during a press conference Tuesday that he has not been “preoccupied” by the NFL protests but is “ashamed” by the “disrespect” shown by the athletes who kneeled.
A Reuters reporter asked Trump during a joint presser with the prime minister of Spain if the NFL anthem kneelers had distracted him from the growing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.
“I wasn’t preoccupied with the NFL, I was ashamed of what was taking place because to me that was a very important moment because I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem,” Trump responded. “To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation.”
“I have plenty of time on my hands, all I do is work, and to me that’s an important function of working,” he continued. “It’s called respect for our country.”
Trump also said that he believes the NFL should punish players who choose to kneel when the anthem is played.