Trump on National Anthem: ‘Maybe You Shouldn’t Be in the Country’ if You Don’t Stand ‘Proudly’

President Donald Trump added fuel to the fire following the NFL’s newly announced national anthem policy on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, saying those who protest “maybe shouldn’t be in the country.”

During an interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade that aired on Thursday, the president was asked about the new controversial NFL rules, which will require all on-field personnel to stand for the playing of the national anthem while also giving players the option of staying in the locker room.

“I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. you have to stand proudly for the national anthem,” the president said.

Watch the president’s comments below:

“You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country,” Trump added. “The NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”

When asked if the NFL’s actions prove that he pushed the issue “to a conclusion,” Trump said that it was the American people who fought for the issue. 

“I think the people pushed it forward. This was not me. I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward. This country is very smart. We have very smart people. And you know, that’s something ideally could have been taken care of when it first started. It would have been a lot easier,” the president added.

Following the airing of the president’s comment, Fox News host Steve Doocy, seemingly surprised, repeated Trump’s line that “If you don’t stand maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

On Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said while he supports players, the kneeling protests “created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic.”

“This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem,” Goodell added. “Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may start in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.” 

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