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"FAKE NEWS, he should be fired", Trump tweeted on Saturday night, despite the fact that Weigel had already corrected the tweet before the president's follow-up post.

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).

Mr Weigel's tweeting has previously landed him in hot water with the newspaper, with bosses issuing a reminder to its reporters that their online behaviour is an extension of their professional lives after the journalist branded defeated congressional candidate Dan Bangino a "lying, pathetic loser". "He put up a tweet with a pretty sarcastic comment about where the president was giving his speech, he said "packed to the rafters" and a picture that was taken long before the speech began".

The photo, which was posted with the caption, "Packed to the rafters", showed a almost empty arena.

Weigel quickly responded to Trump's tweets with an apology and an acknowledgement of his error. Weigel immediately apologized on Twitter.

On Saturday night, The Washington Post released a statement.

Mr Trump has locked horns with the press on numerous occasions, repeatedly accusing large sections of the media of producing "fake news" - particularly in relation to the Russian Federation investigation. I deleted it after like 20 minutes. "Packed to the rafters", Weigel wrote sarcastically.

As for Trump, he tweeted earlier Saturday about his pleasure over the reception he received in Pensacola.

The emails to the "Journolist" listserv, posted by The Daily Caller and Fishbowl DC, included remarks by Weigel that Matt Drudge, creator of the Drudge Report, should 'handle his emotional problems more responsibly and set himself on fire'.

He continued, "Real photos now shown as I spoke. Was confused by the image of you walking in the bottom right corner", he tweeted. Trump asked the crowd.

Limbaugh had called for then-President Barack Obama to fail, and when the radio host was hospitalized with chest pains, Weigel reportedly wrote, "I hope he fails".

At Friday's rally, Trump pointed to a CNN correction and other corrections and clarifications by news organizations in the past week.