NEW YORK, U.S. - The moment Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States - his supporters and opposers began a battle that continues even a week after the elections are done. ...
• Many users claimed that Trump was trying to divert attention away from his Trump University case
• Other users believed he tried to turn attention away from his daughter Ivanka’s presence at his meeting with Japanese PM
• Trump went on a Twitter rant against the Hamilton cast, claimed they harassed VP-elect Mike Pence
NEW YORK, U.S. - The moment Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States - his supporters and opposers began a battle that continues even a week after the elections are done. However, there was one community, the journalists across the world, who sent out a muted cheer - thanking their stars for being in business when the man known for giving them several screaming headlines - was going to be in power.
And true to his nature, Trump has delivered much to write about over the last one week.
The weekend proved to be a busy time for reporters, who have had good practice through Trump’s 22 months of campaigning, and have been forced into a paradigm shift in their reporting methods. They are now keeping a more dedicated eye trained on his social media page, than tracking his moves through New York and Washington.
In spite of Trump’s repeated stern statements through months of campaigning - where he refused to make a settlement in the Trump University case - a settlement was indeed made over the weekend.
#TrumpUniversity was trending on Twitter for a good few hours after the news broke - but was quickly overshadowed by another controversy that had been brewing in the background.
Many experts, not just in the United States, but across the world and especially in Japan were stunned to notice that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who has played a major role in Trump’s business empire as well as in his campaign was present in the closed-door meeting the president-elect had with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. In fact, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner too was present in the meeting, photographs showed.
While the move initially suggested the influence of a loyal patronage around him - Ivanka’s presence in the meeting drew a lot of attention in Japan, where press had previously reported that she could replace Caroline Kennedy to be the next U.S. ambassador to Tokyo.
Her presence even increased questions regarding the ‘conflict of interest’ controversy involving the future President of the United States - which already is heating up ahead of December 19, when the electors of the Electoral College cast their ballots.
Then, something strange happened. United States Vice President Elect, Mike Pence decides to have a quiet evening in New York City and lands at the Richard Rodgers Theatre to watch Broadway’s hit hip-hop musical, Hamilton.
The evening soon turned embarrassing for the self-proclaimed people’s man, who walked into the theatre, to loud boos and was jeered throughout the show - so much so, that the boos from the crowd interrupted the show many times. The cast sure didn’t mind, because they had a message of their own for Pence.
Pence, who attended the show with his close relatives and daughter, was directed a message by the cast and one actor, Brandon Victor Dixon, who played the character of Burr in the show, while leaving the theatre.
"Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few more moments. There's nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen. We're all here sharing a story about love, Dixon read a written message for Pence. We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
After Pence left, Jeffrey Seller, the show's lead producer, who also helped in writing the message for Pence said he hoped that Pence would share the show's message of empathy. He said, “We are honored that Pence attended the show, and we had to use this opportunity to express our feelings. I hope that maybe it inspires him to feel for those not like him.”
However, neither Trump nor his supporters were pleased with the way things turned out.
#Hamilton began trending on Twitter right away and everyone, whether they were present at the show or not, had something to say about the way things unfolded.
Soon after, the Twitterati took to their creative ways, with #NameAPenceMusical beginning to trend.
Hundreds of thousands of creative names were thrown up, including ‘Annie Get Your IUD (Before Jan 20)’, ‘Rent: But Not To Those People’, ‘Oklahomophobia’, ‘The Grand Wizard of Oz’, ‘A Racist in the Sun’, ‘Snow White and the Seven Clansman’, ‘Deporting Miss Saigon’, ‘My Fair Lady (Has No Right To Choose)’, ‘Don’t Dream, Girls’, ‘Grab My Fair Lady By The Pu$$y’ and ‘Thoroughly Modern Misogyny.’
A few hours later, Trump launched a scathing attack against the Hamilton cast on Twitter and demanded that the Hamilton cast issue a formal apology to Pence for “harassing” “a very good man.”
He again reiterated his message on Sunday in a tweet and said, “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”
Dixon in turn responded to Trump and said “conversation is not harassment.”
Further, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator and original star, said he was proud of Dixon and the cast “for leading with love” - saying “Proud of @HamiltonMusical. Proud of @BrandonVDixon, for leading with love. And proud to remind you that ALL are welcome at the theater.”
Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington, said the cast makes him “so very proud.”
Even Josh Gad, former star of Book of Mormon had something to say, he said “this is what happens when you run on a platform of hate.”
Trump chimed in again and said in a separate tweet that the theater should “always be a safe and special place.”
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
Hours later, he continued and called the incident “very rude and insulting.” He, however, deleted the tweet minutes later.
Pence meanwhile addressed the issue while speaking to Fox News host Chris Wallace and said, “First off — my daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. Hamilton is just an incredible production and incredibly talented people. It was real joy to be there. When we arrived, we heard a few boos and we heard some cheers. I nudged my kids and reminded them that that’s what freedom sounds like. And in the end, I did hear what was said from the stage and I can tell you — I wasn’t offended by what was said. I’ll leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it.”
He was questioned about whether he wanted an apology from the cast, to which the Vice President-elect said, “I would leave that to others as to whether that was the appropriate venue for that. But, I will tell you, Chris, if you haven’t seen the show — go to see it. It’s a great, great show. I’m a real history buff, so my daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed it.”
He also added that he understood the root of the cast’s message. “I do want to say, that the basic element and center of that message is one that I want to address. And that is — I know that this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election. I know that this is a very stressful time for some people. … I just want to reassure every American that in the days ahead I’m very confident that they’re going to see the President-elect Donald Trump be the President for all the people.”
In spite of the ongoing war of words - through the day, Trump supporters began a hashtag on Twitter, that was trending for more than 20 hours, #BoycottHamilton, and incidentally, they spelt Hamilton wrong (BoycottHammilton) - something that several others on Twitter were quick to point out.