On 18 April 2017, multiple web sites posted a video that seemed to show President Donald Trump signing a boy’s hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll on 17 April — only then to callously toss it into the crowd instead of handing it back:
In the widely-circulated video, the boy who asked for the autograph is out of frame and can’t be seen but can be heard asking, “Will you sign my hat?” as the president approaches. President Trump takes the hat, signs it, then appears to toss it up in the air while smiling. Politico posted the video to Twitter, and it was retweeted at least 20,000 times.
Many publications interpreted this to mean the president was “bullying” a child. ResistanceReport.com wrote:
At the end of the event, a child walked up to the president and asked him to sign his red Make America Great Again hat. Trump proceeded to take the hat from the boy’s hands, autograph it, and then toss it into the crowd rather than hand it back to the boy. After Trump tosses the hat, the boy can be heard yelling, “no!”
But NBC Nightly News social media editor Micah Grimes responded with a second video of the same incident, shot from a different angle:
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) April 17, 2017
In that video, it’s clear that the president did not throw the boy’s hat into the crowd. Instead, President Trump signed the hat and returned it to the boy by playfully tossing it to him. The original video angle was misleading, causing many to believe that President Trump had bullied the boy when he was simply engaging the crowd of attendees at the White House event in a routine way.