NEW YORK—In response to tweets by President Trump on Saturday night calling for the firing of Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel, PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel released the following statement:

“Human error has become hazardous to the professional health of journalists. PEN America excoriates President Donald Trump for demanding the dismissal of Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel after Weigel erroneously tweeted a photo and message suggesting that Trump’s Pensacola rally was sparsely attended (it was actually full). Weigel rightly withdrew the tweet and apologized.

“For the President to call for a reporter to be fired infringes on the First Amendment, even if the journalist’s private employer has the wisdom to ignore the advice from the Oval Office. That the President may lack the power to effectuate the reprisal doesn’t make his call for it any less chilling to freedom of the press.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Sarah Edkins, Director of Communications:, 617-947-6512 (m)

This release has been updated to reflect that the incident took place on Saturday, not Friday.