President Trump called and left a voice message for a man he mistook for a protester and mocked as having a "serious weight problem," according to a senior administration official. The man turned out to be a supporter, not a protester.
It is unclear if the president explicitly apologized when he placed the call to the man from aboard Air Force One. The incident occurred at the Trump, Thursday night when Mr. Trump noticed a commotion in the crowd.
Mr. Trump, pausing during his speech as he often does when there's an interruption, told the crowd, "That guy's got a serious weight problem. Go home. Start exercising. Get him out of here please. Got a bigger problem than I do. Got a bigger problem than all of us."
Fox News spoke to the man later and identified him as Frank Dawson, a former law enforcement officer and Navy veteran. Dawson told Fox that protesters sitting near him were "trying to cause a ruckus" so he ripped their signs away — and he didn't fault Mr. Trump for calling him out by mistake.
"Everything's good. I love the guy. He's the best thing that ever happened to this country," Dawson said.
On Friday, a senior administration official confirmed the president placed a call to the man afterwards.
"He called him from Air Force One and left him a message," the official said. "It went straight to voicemail. Which is always an interesting thing because a lot of people will tell you they like that better because they have it saved. Whereas if it's just a conversation, they get to have a conversation, but then there's no record of it, whereas a voicemail, a lot of people like that."
Mr. Trump sometimes mocks protesters at rallies. In the past, he's told protesters to go home to the mothers.